The primary policy-making organ of the Authority is the Assembly, comprising all members (that is, all of the countries that have signed UNCLOS, which includes all of the Pacific ACP States). Executive authority is vested in a 36-member council, elected according to a four-year cycle. The council is also the primary legislative organ of the Authority. To ensure a balance of interests, the council is divided into five chambers, representing: • major consumers of the metals derived from seabed minerals; • major investors in seabed mining; • major net exporters of the metals derived from seabed minerals; • special interests (including small island developing states, states with large populations, and land-locked and geographically disadvantaged states); and • a chamber elected on the basis of equitable geographic distribution. The council has two subsidiary bodies made up of experts elected in their personal capacity: a Legal and Technical Commission and an Economic Planning Commission. Under the 1994 Agreement, the functions of the Economic Planning Commission are to be carried out by the Legal and Technical Commission until such time as commercial seabed mining begins. The primary functions of the Legal and Technical Commission are to formulate the rules, regulations, and procedures for prospecting, exploration, and exploitation, to review the performance of contractors with the Authority, and to advise the council on matters related to protection of the marine environment from the harmful impacts of mining.
From collection: Deep Sea Minerals Volume 2