The International Seabed Authority
The International Seabed Authority is the intergovernmental organization through which States Parties to UNCLOS organize and control activities in the Area, particularly with a view to administering the resources of the Area. The Authority was established on 16 November 1994, upon the entry into force of the Convention, and became fully operational in June 1996.
The main functions of the Authority are to administer the mineral resources of the Area; to adopt rules, regulations and procedures for the conduct of activities in the Area; to promote and encourage marine scientific research in the Area; and to protect and conserve the natural resources of the Area and prevent damage to the flora and fauna of the marine environment.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
The Tribunal, which is based in Hamburg, Germany, was established following the entry into force of the Convention in 1994 and became fully operational in 1996.
The Tribunal may obtain jurisdiction in several ways. First, the Tribunal may have jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention when all parties to such a dispute have selected the Tribunal as a first choice among the dispute settlement options provided by the Convention.
The Tribunal may obtain jurisdiction when it has been selected for this purpose by the parties to the dispute through a special agreement. In addition, the Tribunal may issue advisory opinions in certain instances. A total of nineteen cases have been submitted to the Tribunal since its inception, covering issues such as prompt release, provisional measures, and maritime boundary delimitation. The Tribunal has adjudicated 16 of these cases.
The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf
The Commission is composed of 21 members who are experts in geology, geophysics, or hydrography. States Parties to the Convention elect them from among their nationals having due regard to equitable geographical representation. The members of the Commission serve in their personal capacity. The principal function of the Commission is to consider data and other material submitted, in accordance with article 76 of the Convention, by coastal States concerning the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 miles and to make recommendations thereon. The limits established by coastal States on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission are final and binding