Universalism in maritime law as a point of reference for lawmakers: Myth and reality
Regionalism or unilateralism in maritime law is based on differentiated interpretations of the international norms which may lead to reshaping the norms in question by widening or narrowing their scope, or by providing for additional or differentiated requirements. Schematically, international norms refer to the rights and obligations of the flag State, coastal State and port State. The interest of briefly examining maritime safety from the aspect of the flag State, coastal State and port State, is to reveal the limitations of States’ actions in keeping with international law. The flag State is the State with which the vessel is registered. In their capacity as flag States, EU Member States and the U.S. enjoy a number of rights and are subject to a number of obligations which are notably provided for in the instruments. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (hereinafter UNCLOS 1982, also commonly known as UNCLOS III) is the instrument which, according to the United Nations, “established for the first time one set of rules for the oceans, bringing order to a system fraught with political conflict”.