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A Revisit on the Regime of Islands in the 1982 Unclos
|Abstract:||聯合國海洋法公約（以下簡稱「公約」）於1982年通過並於1994年生效，經過十餘 年的實踐，「公約」中的若干條文由於定義不清或是文句內容尚待解釋與釐清，因而被 學術界與實務界所批評，「公約」第121條關於島嶼制度的規定就是其中之一。而島嶼 的重要性，往往會與其面積大小、地理位置、地質結構、資源蘊藏量等因素而受到影響， 此外，島嶼所有國在國家利益的考量上亦是不可忽略的因素。 然而，「公約」第121條第3項的內容在解釋上卻有著複雜的表現，這也使得該條文 在島嶼的定義上處理時，相關國家間出現難以一致的看法。易言之，本條文字中所論及 之「維持人類居住」和「維持經濟生活」兩個描述缺少了清楚可辨之定義。在此情形之 下，放任國家依據國家利益來決定或定義岩礁或島嶼，無疑將會引發更多的爭議與衝突。 基於上述待釐清之敘述，本研究將就下列議題進行探討： 一、探索「維持人類居住」和「維持經濟生活」的內涵與解釋； 二、確定「公約」第121條第3項的適用標準； 三、分析涉及島嶼的相關案例； 四、評析「公約」第121條第3項在若干案例中的適用情形，例如日本對於沖之鳥的主張， 或是南海周邊國家對於南沙群島的爭奪。 由於研究對象具有高度的國家利益內涵，本研究並無意於對島嶼或岩礁提供一個最 終的解釋，不過提案人認為透過對「公約」第121條第3項文字的闡釋，以及對於國家實 踐和司法判例的相關探討，可以對於該條款文字的內涵有進一步之理解與運用。|
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (hereinafter briefed as UNCLOS) was adopted in 1982 and entered into force in 1994. After decades of practices, some of the articles are criticized because of their ill definition or even no definition. Article 121 concerning regime of islands is one of them. From geographical point of view, the term “islands” may be translated from tiny sandbanks to large landmasses, depending on the functional purposes of the usage by the state who owns it. Being an “Ocean Constitution”, the UNCLOS had confirmed the legal definition and the entitlement of an island in Article 121(1) and (2). Nonetheless, it is generally acknowledged that Article 121(3) raises a number of complicated interpretative issues, which makes it difficult to establish applicable standard on the definition of an island. This Article still leaves a vague interpretation on the distinction between an island and a rock. In other words, there is no plain interpretation on “a rock sustains human habitation” or “a rock sustains economic life of its own”. Under such circumstances, it might have more conflicts if allowing states to interpret this article on account of claiming and chasing their own national interests. The author is going to discuss the following issues in this study: 1. exploring the context of “sustain human habitation” and “economic life of their own”, which were provided in UNCLOS Article 121(3); 2. identifying the criteria in applying Article 121(3); 3. analyzing relevant cases concerning islands and their implication on claiming rights; 4. criticizing the application of Article 121(3) in certain cases, such as the Okinotori (owned by Japan) and the Spratlys in the South China Sea. It is not the purpose of this study to provide a final answer on rocks and islands, which is almost impossible due to its highly sensible nature. However, a further elaboration of Article 121(3) is possible through state practices or judicial decisions. It is the author’s expectation that this study could cast new lights on understanding the regime of islands in international law from the perspectives of legal analysis as well as state practices.
|Appears in Collections:||教師著作|
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