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Letter: Law of the Sea Treaty and its faults

Published: Sunday, June 3 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

U.S. navy officers disembark a ship during a port call at Da Nang port, Da Nang, Vietnam, Friday, 15 July 2011.

Na Son Nguyen, Associated Press

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I don't understand the American Sovereignty campaign to urge the ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty. Here is why. First, the treaty calls for the transfer of wealth from developing countries to underdeveloped nations by taxing any oil and minerals extracted from the ocean beyond the 200 mile limit, or EEZ, from anyone's shoreline. Second, it requires treaty members to adopt regulations and laws to control pollution of the marine environment and allows environmentalists to challenge a nation's laws in UN courts or in other UN agencies, thus making UN law superior to national law.

There are over 300 articles in the treaty. Article 20 requires all underwater vehicles to operate on the surface if in territorial seas of other countries. Article 110 says we cannot board or stop ships known to be carrying terrorists or weapons of mass destruction. Article 290, paragraph five, allows the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, or ITLOS, to force a country to release such a ship or other suspected ships detained on the high seas. Article 88 with article 301 restrict the use of force on the high seas if a nation acts aggressively against another nation, and if any nation's navy is viewed to have the slightest threat to another nation, it would have to answer to the ITLOS, a judicial body that in general is staffed by nations either hostile to, or not always on friendly terms with the U.S.

The treaty is also known as LOST, which can represent the loss of individual state sovereignty to the Obama-Clinton view of a new world order.

Carl Jones

Midway

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