Legal Aspects of Arms Control Measures Concerning the Missile Carrying Submarines and Anti-Submarine Warfare

The general law of the sea is in a period of profound change unparalleled since the seventeenth century. The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Sea-Bed and Ocean Floor Beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction, consisting of ninety-one member nations has been engaging in the preliminary work including drafting for a diplomatic conference on the law of the sea of which it is expected that at least the preliminary session will be held in late 1973. At this time it is possible to speak only of trends, positions, projections, and probabilities.

What little law there is with respect to the submarine in war is for the most part responsive to the art of submarine warfare as it existed roughly a half century ago. It is largely concerned with the use of submarines as commerce destroyers in time of war. With the development of the weapon and changes in the intensity and dimensions of warfare, that law has itself become largely archaic. The only existing law on ASW is a convention on mines. which is likewise outmoded.

It is to the law of the sea in time of peace that we now turn.

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