TRIUMPH FOR UNCLOS The Guyana-Suriname Maritime Arbitration - A Compilation & CommentaryProduct no.: HP116
The maritime dispute between Guyana and Suriname – neighbours on the South American coast – which came to a head with the resort to force by Suriname in 2000, threatened not only relations between the two countries but also the peace and stability of the wider maritime area of the Caribbean. It specifically endangered the ‘equitable and efficient’ utilisation of the resources of the Guyana-Suriname marine basin. That dispute was settled by Arbitration under UNCLOS – the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – after a three year legal process.
This book tells the story of that dispute between Britain and Holland as the metropoles of Guyana and Suriname, and then between the neighbours themselves as they became independent. It explains the process of peaceful settlement in 2007 through arbitration, and of the triumph of UNCLOS in enabling it. It is a story over four centuries from Raleigh and the ‘wild Guiana coast’ to the ascendancy of the legal regime of the seas that UNCLOS represents.
UNCLOS was described at its inception in 1982, as "A Constitution for the Oceans". It both codified customary international law and enhanced its maritime reach. It was specially innovative in regard to the peaceful settlement of disputes between States. Each time a maritime dispute is settled under UNCLOS the rule of international law is strengthened. Where, as here, it is resolved on the basis of equity and scholarship, the triumph of UNCLOS is enduring.