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The Law of the Sea

The Law of the Sea


History Sources of the law of the sea Codification


The Hague Codification Conference of 1930 UNCLOS I 1958 UNCLOS II 1960 UNCLOS III 1973-1982

1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

The Law of the Sea

Maritime areas:

Baselines Territorial Sea Contiguous Zone Exclusive Economic Zone Continental Shelf High Seas The Area Archipelagic Waters International Straits

The Law of the Sea


Delimitation of Maritime Areas The Sea-Bed Authority Protection of the Marine Environment Settlement of Disputes Supplementary Reading

The Law of the Sea - History


The development of the law of the sea cannot be separated from the development of international law in general. The modern law of the sea dates to the beginning of modern international law in the middle of the 17th century. However, there are many examples of collections of rules and maritime customs in the Middle Ages (i.e. Rhodian Sea Law, a Byzantine work compiled between 7th and 9th centuries, 12th century Rolls of Oleron from France, Consolato del Mare, published in Barcelona in the middle of the 14th century, Maritime Code of Wisby from approx. 1407, followed by the Hanseatic League). Maritime customs began to be accepted throughout Europe.

The Law of the Sea - History


Great geographical discoveries In the 15th and 16th centuries claims were laid by the powerful maritime states, especially Portugal and Spain, to the exercise of sovereignty over vast portions of the seas. Portugal claimed maritime sovereignty over the whole of the Indian Ocean and a very big part of the Atlantic. Spain claimed rights over the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico. The division of the seas and oceans between Spain and Portugal by the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas was approved by the Pope.

The Law of the Sea - History


Freedom of the seas In opposition to the principle of maritime sovereignty, the principle of the freedom of the seas began to develop. The freedom of the high seas was seen to correspond to the general interests of all states, particularly as regards freedom of commerce between nations.

The Law of the Sea - History


Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) Grotius, the Dutch lawyer who is considered to be the father of international law, is regarded as the father of the law of the sea as well. Grotius was one of the first to attack claims to sovereignty over high seas. In his seminal work on the subject, Mare Liberum (The Freedom of the Seas), published in 1609, Grotius articulated the principle of the freedom of the seas, meaning that the sea should be free and open to use by all countries. His argument was based on two grounds: 1. No sea or ocean can be the property of a nation because it is impossible for any nation effectively to take it into possession by occupation. 2. Nature does not give a right to anybody to appropriate things that may be used by everybody and are exhaustible.

The Law of the Sea - Sources


Customary law International treaties


1494 Treaty of Tordesillas 1774 Russia Turkey on Perpetual Peace and Amity 1815 Act of the Congress of Vienna 1884 Paris Convention for the Protection of Submarine Cables 1888 Convention on the Free Navigation of the Suez Canal 1903 Panama USA Convention for the Construction of a Ship Canal 1907 Convention concerning the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval Warfare 1907 Convention relative to the Laying of Automatic Submarine Contact Mines 1910 Brussels Convention for the Unification of certain Rules relating to Assistance and Salvage at Sea 1923 Geneva Convention and Statute on the Regime of Maritime Ports

The Law of the Sea - Codification


The Hague Codification Conference of 1930 The Conference was unable to adopt a convention concerning territorial waters as no agreement could be reached on the question of the breadth of territorial waters and the problem of the contiguous zone. There was, however, some measure of agreement regarding the legal status of territorial waters, the right of innocent passage and the baseline for measuring the territorial waters.

The Law of the Sea - Codification


UNCLOS I, Geneva 1958 Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone Convention on the Continental Shelf Convention on the High Seas Convention on the Fishing and Conservation of Living Resources of the High Seas

The Law of the Sea - Codification


UNCLOS II 1960 The main purpose of UNCLOS II was to determine the breadth of the territorial sea. The Conference failed to agree on the British 6+6 compromise (6 miles territorial sea + 6 miles contiguous zone) proposal.

The Law of the Sea - Codification


UNCLOS III 1973-1982 UNCLOS III experience has been described as the largest, most technically complex, continuous negotiation attempted in modern times (R.L. Friedheim). UNCLOS III negotiated on the basis of consensus, as a package deal with the understanding that no reservations to the Convention be permitted. On April 30 1982 The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was adopted by voting. 130 states voted in favour, 4 against (USA, Israel, Turkey and Venezuela) and 17 abstained.

The Law of the Sea - Codification


1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea The United Nations Law of the Sea Convention was signed by 117 states on December 10, 1982 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Convention entered into force in on November 16, 1994 after being ratified by 60 states. The Convention consists of 17 parts with 320 articles and 9 annexes The Convention is a comprehensive code of rules of international law on the sea. The greater part of the Convention reflects already existing customary and conventional (1958 Conventions) law of the sea. However, much of the previous law was thereby changed and many new rules introduced.

Baselines
Normal baseline (Article 5) The normal baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea is the low water line along the coast as marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by the coastal State. Straight baselines (Article 7) In localities where the coastline is deeply indented and cut into, or if there is a fringe of islands along the coast in its immediate vicinity, the method of straight baselines joining appropriate points may be employed in drawing the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured. Combination of methods for determining baselines (Article 14) The coastal State may determine baselines in turn by any of the methods provided for in the foregoing articles to suit different conditions.

Internal Waters
Internal waters (Article 8) Waters on the landward side of the baseline of the territorial sea form part of the internal waters of the State. Bays (Article10) For the purposes of this Convention, a bay is a well-marked indentation whose penetration is in such proportion to the width of its mouth as to contain land-locked waters and constitute more than a mere curvature of the coast. An indentation shall not, however, be regarded as a bay unless its area is as large as, or larger than, that of the semi-circle whose diameter is a line drawn across the mouth of that indentation. Where the distance between the low-water marks of the natural entrance points of a bay exceeds 24 nautical miles, a straight baseline of 24 nautical miles shall be drawn within the bay in such a manner as to enclose the maximum area of water that is possible with a line of that length.

Territorial Sea

Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention (Article 3) The outer limit of the territorial sea is the line every point of which is at a distance from the nearest point of the baseline equal to the breadth of the territorial sea (Article 4)

Territorial Sea

Territorial Sea: Innocent Passage


Right of innocent passage (Article17) Ships of all States, whether coastal or land-locked, enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea. Passage shall be continuous and expeditious. However, passage includes stopping and anchoring, but only in so far as the same are incidental to ordinary navigation or are rendered necessary by force majeure or distress or for the purpose of rendering assistance to persons, ships or aircraft in danger or distress. Passage is innocent so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State. The Convention (Article 19) includes a list of activities prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State (e.g. threat or use of force, exercise with weapons, fishing, propaganda).

Contiguous Zone
Contiguous zone (Article33) In a zone contiguous to its territorial sea, described as the contiguous zone, the coastal State may exercise the control necessary to: (a) prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea; (b) punish infringement of the above laws and regulations committed within its territory or territorial sea. The contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

Exclusive Economic Zone


The exclusive economic zone is an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea. In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State has: (a) sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds; (b) jurisdiction as provided for in the relevant provisions of this Convention with regard to: (i) the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures; (ii) marine scientific research; (iii) the protection and preservation of the marine environment. The exclusive economic zone shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

Continental Shelf
The continental shelf of a coastal State comprises the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance. the outer limit of the continental shelf shall not exceed 350 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

High Seas
High seas regime applies in all parts of the sea that are not included in the exclusive economic zone, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic State The high seas are open to all States, whether coastal or land-locked. It comprises, inter alia, both for coastal and land-locked States: (a) freedom of navigation; (b) freedom of overflight; (c) freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines; (d) freedom to construct artificial islands and other installations permitted under international law; (e) freedom of fishing; (f) freedom of scientific research.

The Area
The Area and its resources are the common heritage of mankind (Article 136) No State shall claim or exercise sovereignty or sovereign rights over any part of the Area or its resources, nor shall any State or natural or juridical person appropriate any part thereof. No such claim or exercise of sovereignty or sovereign rights nor such appropriation shall be recognized. All rights in the resources of the Area are vested in mankind as a whole, on whose behalf the Authority shall act.

STRAITS USED FOR INTERNATIONAL NAVIGATION


Straits used for international navigations are straits which are used for international navigation between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone. In international straits all ships and aircraft enjoy the right of transit passage, which shall not be impeded. Transit passage means the exercise of the freedom of navigation and overflight solely for the purpose of continuous and expeditious transit between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone. States bordering straits may designate sea lanes and prescribe traffic separation schemes for navigation in straits where necessary to promote the safe passage of ships. There shall be no suspension of transit passage.

Archipelagic States
"archipelagic State" means a State constituted wholly by one or more archipelagos and may include other islands (Indonesia, for instance, consists of 17 508 islands); "archipelago" means a group of islands, including parts of islands. An archipelagic State may draw straight archipelagic baselines joining the outermost points of the outermost islands of the archipelago provided that within such baselines are included the main islands and an area in which the ratio of the area of the water to the area of the land, including atolls, is between 1 to 1 and 9 to 1. The length of such baselines shall, in principle, not exceed 100 nautical miles. The breadth of the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf shall be measured from archipelagic baselines.

Archipelagic States

Archipelagic States

Archipelagic States - Archipelagic Sea Lanes Passage


The breadth of the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf shall be measured from archipelagic baselines drawn in accordance with article 47. The sovereignty of an archipelagic State extends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines. This sovereignty extends to the air space over the archipelagic waters, as well as to their bed and subsoil, and the resources contained therein. All ships and aircraft enjoy the right of archipelagic sea lanes passage in such sea lanes and air routes. Archipelagic sea lanes passage means the exercise in accordance with this Convention of the rights of navigation and overflight in the Normal mode solely for the purpose of continuous, expeditious and Unobstructed transit between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone.

Delimitation of Maritime Areas Snake Island Case

Delimitation of Maritime Areas Snake Island Case