One of the reasons for the speed with which international law has been changing in recent years has been the acceleration in the development of technology. New technological capabilities create opportunities for new kinds of economic activities which in turn require new legal norms to regulate them. Many such norms are formulated by express agreement and embodied in multilateral treaties. Much of contemporary air and space law is being developed by this method. For various reasons, however, the treaty making process is not always adequate for the development of new law, at least in its initial stages. Express agreement of a substantial majority of states on norms formulated with some precision requires much time and effort. Eighteen years have passed, for example, since the United Nations International Law Commission began its work on the law of the sea which led to the formulation of four conventions at the Geneva Conference of 1958 on this subject. Ten years after this Conference, none of the four conventions has been ratified or acceded to by a majority of the states of the world. It is not surprising, therefore, that in some fie1ds new law first emerges as a set of customary norms of varying degrees of c1arity and general accep tance. But the nature of the process of development and change of customary norms has remained inadequately understood and explained in the theory of intemationallaw. Some eminent jurists have called it "a mystery.
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Table of ContentsI: International Custom: its Statics and Dynamics.- Some Traditional Criteria of the Growth of International Custom.- Particular and General Rule.- Duration of Practice as a Static Element.- Systematization and Generalization.- The Contents of Time.- Duration of Practice and Bilateral Origins of Custom.- The Relative Value of “Opinio Juris sive Necessitatis”.- The Law of the Continental Shelf in Theory.- The Legal Status of the Doctrine.- The Formative Factors in the Growth of the Law.- The Nature of State Practice.- The Formal Criteria of the Growth of Custom.- The Substantive Factors Political and Economic.- Synthesis and Projection.- II: The Continental Shelf, its Utilization and Control.- The Continental Shelf and its Riches.- National Shelf Policies.- Industrial Involvement on the Shelf.- Industry and the U.S. Continental Shelf.- Shelves around the World.- The Shelf and the State.- Political and Industrial Limits of the Shelf.- Political Concepts of the Continental Shelf.- The Shelf Utilized and Controlled.- III: Political and Legal Problems of the Continental Shelf: an Outline.- Political and Legal Aspects of the Doctrine: 1945.- The Truman Proclamation of 1945.- Conceptual Enlargement of the Shelf Doctrine: 1945–1958.- The 1958 Conference on the Law of the Sea.- The Core Rule of the Legal Regime of the Shelf.- Territorial and Functional Limits of Exclusive Coastal Rights.- Aspects of the Treaty Criterion of Exploitability.- Aspects of the Functional Limits.- IV: Bilateral Perspectives of the Legal Regime of the Continental Shelf.- American and British Shelf Practice in the 1940’s.- 1. Seaward Limits of Shelf Rights.- 2. Functional Limits of Shelf Rights.- 3. Problem of State Responsibility.- Coastal Right of Exclusive Control in Bilateral Perspectives.- Situation 1: Abu Dhabi v. Petroleum Development (Trucial Coast) Ltd..- Situation 2: United States v. Abu Dhabi (Great Britain).- Situation 3: Japan v. Abu Dhabi (Great Britain).- Shelf Utilization and Responsibility of States: From Bilateral to Multilateral Perspectives.- Situation 1: Norway and France, 1948.- Situation 2: France, Norway and Gabon, 1960.- Situation 3: Federal Republic of Germany, Norway and Japan, 1958.- Provisional Conclusions.- V: The Continental Shelf and International Custom: Assessment and Conclusions.- The Continental Shelf Regime.- The Shelf in 1950.- The Shelf as a Res Nullius.- Impact of Active Shelf Policies.- Summary.- The Shelf in 1958.- Exclusive Coastal Control.- Geographical Extent of Coastal Control.- Functional Limits of Coastal Control.- State Responsibility in Shelf Areas under National Control.- International Custom: Aspects of Growth.- Selected Bibliography.