Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Barbara E. Heim

First Page



The nations of the world have begun to tap three resource areas--the deep seabed, outer space, and Antarctica. These areas are unique insofar as no nation can claim them exclusively as its own. As a result, these three areas raise unique international questions. Not only are they largely undisturbed, but these areas are also the testing ground for recently developed international treaties that attempt to usher in a new era of international cooperation. This Note examines both the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources in the deep seabed, outer space, and Antarctica. The physical nature of each area, the resources available to humankind, the technological and economic feasibility of future explorations, and the environmental concerns surrounding mineral resource development will be examined. Within each section, the author discusses the treaty systems governing each environment, focusing particularly on the most recent attempts to formulate policy. The historical development, structure, and current status of these latest attempts are examined. By comparing the development, successes, and failures of the treaty systems, this Note attempts to highlight past experiences to suggest a system that will better serve the world community in the next century.