The ‘common heritage of mankind’ (CH) is a controversial principle or concept of international law. Properly understood, it has the potential to overcome some of the grave deficits of state-centric international (environmental) law. In particular: the tragedy of the commons (in terms of both its use and abuse and its enclosure or privatization); democratic deficits; growing inequality (accumulation of wealth by some states, corporations and elites); and the absence of ecological responsibility (Baslar, 1997; Taylor, 2012). Despite its promise (or perhaps because of it), CH has often been marginalized as a political principle. Thus is has been described as utopian or (politically) divisive, because of its implications for property, territorial sovereignty and distributive justice (Baslar, 2007).