It is no surprise that the subject "The Future of the Law of the Sea" meets with special interest in the Netherlands. "The sea is our element, the roaring sea our glory," as the old folksong says. For a nation whose and prosperity are so closely connected with the sea, it is of the fate utmost importance to which regime the nations that border upon, sail and exploit the sea are subjected. Until recently nobody worried about the legal regime of the sea. The principle of the freedom of the sea, since Hugo Grotius one of the strongest, hardly assailable, principles of inter national law, was it not of paramount importance for the Netherlands? Since the Second World War this security does not exist any more. International Law is shaken in its foundations. This law, once anchored in the sense of justice of the then leading nations, which certainly did not think similarly, but to a certain extent along the same lines, has been shaken by the development of groups which no longer accept these rules as the guiding principle of their actions. The alarmingly scant willingness among the younger nations to accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court, and the scarce assignments conferred to that Court, bear witness to this crisis. More and more International Law is traversed by economical, sociological, political and power factors which are pushing aside the conceptions of law once considered stable.