Saturday, July 11, 2009

Americans' Constitutional Rights Will Be Trampled Unless Senator Kerry & Other Congressional Committee Chairs Hold Public Hearings to Vet the UNCLOS

Energy Daily/

May 5, 2009

In a new article appearing within the forthcoming issue of the Santa Clara Journal of International Law entitled, What Goes Around, Comes Around: How UNCLOS Ratification Will Herald Europe's Precautionary Principle as US Law, international attorney Lawrence Kogan calls upon all Americans to immediately exercise their constitutionally guaranteed 'right to know'. This article identifies the multiple pathways through which global environmental extremists, US trans-nationalists, and the 111th Congressional supermajority seek to use the highly complex United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as a loading platform from which to import into the American heartland very harmful UN and European-anchored environmental treaty and customary international law rules. "Unless the public demands due process of law from their congressional representatives," emphasized Kogan, "such rules, resembling rogue waves, will collectively override US sovereignty and the supremacy of the US Constitution and its accompanying Bill of Rights".

According to Kogan, "The US Navy continues to publicly deny the likely adverse consequences of the more than 45 plus environmental UNCLOS articles, regulations, protocols and annexes that implicitly and explicitly incorporate Europe's Precautionary Principle. This principle is known not only to raise indirect taxes and to threaten American free enterprise by chilling investments in technological innovations, reducing economic activity and increasing product manufacturing, processing and distribution costs and service fees, but to also severely impact military planning. Indeed, since, at least the late 1990's, foreign governments and environmental activist groups have invoked this controversial European legal nostrum to block US commercial activity, to curtail the Navy's ability to train offshore with sonar equipment, and to impair the timely US naval exercise of customary international law rights to freedom of navigation and innocent passage, both on the high seas and in territorial waters and at the north and south poles."

[There are embedded hyperlinks which may be accessed by clicking on the highlighted words above - 'north' & 'south'].

"Meanwhile," notes Kogan, "there are 'environmentally-enlightened' congressional committee chairs and ranking members who appear to be enamored with the legislative and associated regulatory powers derived from Europe's political civil law Precautionary Principle, especially those who hail from the coastal States of Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. They are busily preparing amendments to a host of US federal environmental, chemical and energy statutes that would expressly incorporate said principle as US law from within our own borders and thereby obviate the need for special US legislation to implement the UNCLOS' land and air-based pollution provisions. For example, these amended statutes, the new carbon cap-and-trade regime currently under development and the proposal for a new federal oceans policy are designed to achieve regulatory harmonization with socialist Europe. Their effect is to attenuate and subjugate US constitutionally guaranteed individual rights, including private property, to global communal interests. In addition to raising the cost of living for all Americans, they would also create disguised environmental trade barriers that are likely to injure and trigger retaliation from US trading partners, all at a time when the US is suffering from a deep financial crisis."

It has been observed that the Obama administration is paying lip service to ensuring Americans greater public transparency and a higher standard of governmental ethics than had its predecessors, even as it devises how to exploit the opaque federal administrative regulatory process to enshrine Europe's Precautionary Principle as US law. Perhaps, this explains why it has yet to 'walk the talk' to move those congressional committees possessing oversight jurisdiction concerning the UNCLOS' environmental, economic and tribunal components to hold open public hearings, prior to ratification, that substantively discuss their impact on the US economy, US national security, US constitutional rights and US sovereignty. If, however, 'change' is in the air as this administration insists, then nothing less than full disclosure will make it authentic.

The Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development (ITSSD) is a non-partisan non-profit international legal research and educational organization that examines international law relating to trade, industry and positive sustainable development around the world. An annotated version of this press release is accessible at:

[A fully annoted version of this summary / press release is accessible at:'%20Constitutional%20Rights%20Will%20Be%20Trampled%20Unless%20Congress%20Convenes%20Public%20UNCLOS%20Hearings%20-%20III.doc ]

[The full law rev

iew article is accessible at:]

Arguably, given the sheer number and scope of UNCLOS environmental regulatory and judicial enforcement provisions, their potential impact on court proceedings, interstate and foreign commerce and military subcontractors, as well as, their potential to trigger new or amended U.S. legislation and/or federal agency regulations, Americans should demand from their congressional representatives that the environmental provisions of the UNCLOS should be reviewed by more than just the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations chaired by Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.

In the Senate, these UNCLOS provisions should be reviewed also by:

1) the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources;
2) the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation;
3) the Committee on Intelligence;
4) the Committee on Finance;
5) the Committee on Environment and Public Works; and
6) the Committee on Judiciary.

In the House of Representatives, these UNCLOS provisions should be reviewed also by:

1) the Committee on Energy;

2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs;
3) the Committee on Intelligence;
4) the Committee on the Judiciary;
5) the Committee on Natural Resources;
6) the Committee on Science;
7) the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; and
8) the Committee on Ways and Means.

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