Contracting Parties > United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea > Australia
|Signature||December 10, 1982|
|Ratification||July 29, 1994|
|Entry into force||November 16, 1994|
Declarations, Reservations etc.Declarations made on March 22, 2002:
"The Government of Australia declares, under paragraph 1 of article 287 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea done at Montego Bay on the tenth day of December one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two that it chooses the following means for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention, without specifying that one has precedence over the other:
(a) the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea established in accordance with Annex VI of the Convention; and
(b) the International Court of Justice.
The Government of Australia further declares, under paragraph 1 (a) of article 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea done at Montego Bay on the tenth day of December one thousand nine hundred and eighty-two, that it does not accept any of the procedures provided for in section 2 of Part XV (including the procedures referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this declaration) with respect to disputes concerning the interpretation or application of articles 15, 74 and 83 relating to sea boundary delimitations as well as those involving historic bays or titles.
These declarations by the Government of Australia are effective immediately."
Objections made on August 3, 1988:
"Australia considers that [the] declaration made by the Republic of the Philippines is not consistent with article 309 of the Law of the Sea Convention, which prohibits the making of reservations, nor with article 310 which permits declarations to be made "provided that such declarations or statements do not purport to exclude or to modify the legal effects of the provisions of this Convention in their application to that State.
The declaration of the Republic of the Philippines asserts that the Convention shall not affect the sovereign rights of the Philippines arising from its Constitution, its domestic legislation and any treaties to which the Philippines is a party. This indicates, in effect, that the Philippines does not consider that it is obliged to harmonise its law with the provisions of the Convention. By making such an assertion, the Philippines is seeking to modify the legal effect of the Convention's provisions.
This view is supported by the specific reference in the declaration to the status of archipelagic waters. The declaration states that the concept of archipelagic waters in the Convention is similar to the concept of internal waters held under former constitutions of the Philippines and recently reaffirmed in article 1 of the New Constitution of the Philippines in 1987. It is clear, however, that the Convention distinguishes the two concepts and that different obligations and rights are applicable to archipelagic waters from those which apply to internal waters. In particular, the Convention provides for the exercise by foreign ships of the rights of innocent passage and of archipelagic sea lanes passage in archipelagic waters.
Australia cannot, therefore, accept that the statement of the Philippines has any legal effect or will have any effect when the Convention comes into force and considers that the provisions of the Convention should be observed without being made subject to the restrictions asserted in thedeclaration of the Republic of the Philippines."