The Recovery of Shipwrecks in International Waters: A Multilateral Solution

This Note will examine the current state of international law concerning property rights to all types of wrecks discovered in international waters. It will show that a multilateral convention is needed to establish an international framework for property rights to shipwrecks of historical and archaeological value, to wrecks of military vessels, and to wrecks of commercial ships such as the Titanic. There may be obstacles to the establishment of a multilateral convention, but the international community must provide certainty to ownership questions, furnish protection for submarine antiquities, and prevent disputes arising from the wrongful salvage of military vessels.