The law of the sea is a body of customs, treaties, and international agreements by which governments maintain order, productivity, and peaceful relations on the sea. Generally speaking, the law of the sea stipulates that maritime countries essentially control their territorial waters from the shore out to a distance of 12 miles (19.3 km), the “12-mile limit.” Within this zone, all laws of that country apply: the country can build, extract natural resources, and either encourage
The first attempt at codification of the customary law of maritime delimitation started with the 1930 Hague Conference under the auspices of the League of Nations. The Hague Conference failed to reach its purpose and the following World War II period was not an appropriate period to deal with issues of maritime delimitation. In the aftermath of World War II, the creation of the United Nations Organization (UN) and the multiple individual claims of States over maritime spaces, such as the Truman Proclamation and the Santiago Declaration raised the need of re-starting the process of codification of the law of maritime delimitation. The adoption of the 1958 Geneva Conventions which followed was a successful initiative, at least to some extent.
The thalweg line is a concept of river law, defined under customary law either as “the mid-line of the main navigation channel” or as the deepest water line. The purpose of the thalweg line in matters of delimitation is to ensure an equal share of the navigable channel between two sovereign States taking into account the navigation interests. As compared to the median-line, the thalweg line as single rule was less used for maritime delimitation in State practice; one example is the Alaska Boundary Arbitration between Great Britain and the United States in 1903.
U.S. President Harry S. Truman’s executive order on September 28, 1945, proclaiming that the resources on the continental shelf contiguous to the United States belonged to the United States. This was a radical departure from the existing approach, under which the two basic principles of the law of the sea had been a narrow strip of coastal waters under the exclusive sovereignty of the coastal state and an unregulated area beyond that known as the high seas. The speed at which Truman’s continental shelf concept was recognized through emulation or acquiescence led Sir Hersch Lauterpacht to declare in 1950 that it represented virtually “instant custom.”
Special circumstances are those circumstances which might modify the results produced by an unqualified application of the equidistance principles. Small islands and maritime features are arguably the archetypical special circumstances as much in the delimitation of the territorial sea as in the delimitation of the continental shelf/EEZ. The Court has recognized in numerous cases, including the North Sea Continental Shelf, Tunisia/Libya, Libya/Malta and Qatar v. Bahrain cases that the equitableness of an equidistance line depends on whether the precaution is taken of eliminating the disproportionate effect of certain islets, rocks and minor coastal projections.
The notion of equity is at the heart of the delimitation of the CS(continental shelf) and entered into the delimitation process with the 1945 proclamation of US President Truman, concerning the delimitation of the CS between the Unites States and adjacent States. The Truman proclamation inspired the Court during the 1969 North Sea case, when the Court stated that “delimitation is to be effected by agreement in accordance with equitable principles, and taking into account all the relevant circumstances.” This idea became doctrine and was reiterated and confirmed by the ICJ and arbitral tribunals in subsequent cases. Articles 74 and 83 of the 1982 LOS Convention concerning the delimitation of the EEZ and the CS provides for effecting the delimitation by agreement, in accordance with international law and in order to achieve an equitable result.
Delimitation of the territorial sea between States with opposite or adjacent coasts
Where the coasts of two States are opposite or adjacent to each other, neither of the two States is entitled, failing agreement between them to the contrary, to extend its territorial sea beyond the median line every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial seas of each of the two States is measured. The above provision does not apply, however, where it is necessary by reason of historic title or other special circumstances to delimit the territorial seas of the two States in a way which is at variance therewith.
This provision in a near-verbatim reproduction of the equivalent provision of the 1958 Territorial Sea Convention. It reflects a compromise reached at UNCLOS I – and again at UNCLOS III – between two general proposed methods of delimitation.
The main rights and obligations concerning migrants attempting to cross the sea clandestinely are framed by the following legal norms: The right to leave any country, including his own and its limits
The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that:
“Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country” (Article 13. (2)). Article 5 of the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination provides that state parties undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of [c, ii)] the right to leave any country, including one’s own, and to return to one’s country.”
Coastal states can claim five key maritime zones. Proceeding seawards from the coast they are internal waters, territorial seas, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone (or, in some cases, an exclusive fishing zone) and the continental shelf. Archipelagic states may also claim archipelagic waters within their archipelagic baselines. Beyond these national zones of jurisdiction lie the international maritime zones of the high seas and the Area.
The rights of the coastal state and aliens vary in these maritime zones, and do so both spatially and functionally. Thus, the coastal state has more rights closer to shore, for example in internal waters and the territorial sea. Aliens retain considerable rights within a coastal state’s claimed maritime zones concerned with communication issues such as navigation, overflight and the laying of submarine cables and pipelines. The coastal state, in contrast, boasts significant resource related rights, particularly concerning fishing and mineral extraction from the seabed.
where no EEZ claim has been made, several states instead claim an exclusive fishery zone. A significant proportion of these states border the Mediterranean Sea which has witnessed a dearth of EEZ claims.
The Mediterranean littoral states are not opposed to the EEZ concept in principle, but have been dissuaded from making EEZ claims because of ‘a twofold economico-geographic reason’. The geographical part of this reason relates to the fact that the physical dimensions of the Mediterranean preclude any coastal state from claiming an EEZ out to 200 nm from its baselines. The economic dimension refers to the the relatively unproductive nature of the Mediterranean from a fisheries perspective. Fishery zones have also been claimed by several states on behalf of their dependent territories.
The rights coastal states have in certain maritime zones, notably internal waters, the territorial sea and contiguous zone, affords them security in the face of threats such as smuggling, illegal immigration, other forms of cross-border crime and, ultimately, from the threat of terrorism and the use of military force. The national maritime zones outlined in the UN Convention also offer profound benefits to coastal states in respect of resources, both living resources such as fisheries and non-living resources such as oil and gas. Furthermore, the rights and responsibilities relating to national maritime zones as laid down in the 1982 Convention provide coastal states with opportunities and obligations in the sphere of ocean management. This includes, but is not limited to, navigation, fisheries protection, conservation of living resources, pollution control, search and rescue and marine scientific research.
Self-Defence and Maritime Interception in law of the sea, maritime law and customary international law, law of the sea, maritime law, self-defence, Self-Defence and Maritime Interception, The Right of Self-Defence, UN Charter, UN Security Council
Principles of the Law of the Sea Versus Maritime Security, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), foreign-flagged vessel, law of the sea, Maritime Security, maritime security awareness (MSA), Principles of the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS
The LOSC devotes Part VII to the high seas. Under Article 86, the high seas are defined as:
all parts of the sea which are not included in the EEZ, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State, or in the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic State. Where a coastal State has established its EEZ, the landward limit of the high seas is the seaward limit of the EEZ. Where the coastal State has not claimed its EEZ, the landward limit of the high seas is the seaward limit of the territorial sea. In this case, the seabed of the high seas is the continental shelf of the coastal State up to the limit fixed by the international law of the sea. The seabed and subsoil beyond the outer limits of the continental shelf are the Area, which is the common heritage of mankind. The superjacent waters above the Area are always the high seas. Where the continental shelf extends beyond the limit of 200 nautical miles, the superjacent waters and the airspace above those waters are the high seas under Article 78 of the LOSC.. Spatial Scope of the High Seas in law of the sea and customary international law, EEZ, High seas, law of the sea, LOSC, seabed, Superjacent Waters
The key concept of archipelagic waters is that a group of islands in mid-ocean, i.e. ‘midocean archipelagos’, should be considered as forming a unit; and that the waters enclosed by baselines joining the outermost points of the archipelago should be under territorial sovereignty. While the question of a special archipelagic regime has been discussed on various occasions since the early twentieth century, neither the 1930 Hague Conference, nor UNCLOS I could resolve this question. The 1958 Geneva Conventions contain no provision with regard to mid-ocean archipelagos or archipelagic waters.
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Internal waters are ‘those waters which lie landward of the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured’. Specifically, internal waters in a legal sense embrace (i) parts of the sea along the coast down to the low-water mark, (ii) ports and harbours, (iii) estuaries, (iv) landward waters from the closing line of bays, and (v) waters enclosed by straight baselines. On the other hand, as noted earlier, internal waters in the law of the sea do not include waters within the land territory and land-locked waters or lakes. what is the meaning of INTERNAL WATERS in law of the sea and cases?, archipelagic waters vs internal waters, definition of internal waters, estuaries, example of internal waters, harbours, High seas, internal waters, internal waters distance, internal waters examples, internal waters unclos, International waters, landward waters, law of the sea, Mare liberum, ports, territorial sea, trans-boundary waters, waters enclosed by straight baselines, What do you mean about internal waters?, What does internal waters mean?, What is included in the internal waters?, Where are international waters?
Article 11 of the LOSC provides a rule concerning harbour works:
For the purpose of delimiting the territorial sea, the outermost permanent harbour works which form an integral part of the harbour system are regarded as forming part of the coast. Off-shore installations and artificial islands shall not be considered as permanent harbour works.. the meaning and role of ports on the baseline situation on the law of the sea and LOSC, Article 11 of the LOSC, harbour system, law of the sea, ports, Sulina dyke
Concerning river mouths, Article 9 of the LOSC stipulates:
If a river flows directly into the sea, the baseline shall be a straight line across the mouth of the river between points on the low-water line of its banks. . what is the meaning of River Mouths in the LOSC and law of the sea, Article 9 of the LOSC, law of the sea, LOSC, River Mouths
Recently the number of bays bordered by more than one State has increased owing to the break-up of existing composite States. The legal regime of such bays thus merits particular attention. In this regard, a question arises as to whether States bordering a bay may draw a closing line across the mouth of the bay. Two different views can be identified.. what is the meaning of the Bays Bordered By More Than One State on the law of the sea, 1988 Agreement between Tanzania and Mozambique, Arbitral Tribunal, Article 10 of the LOSC, Bay of Savudrija/Piran, Bays Bordered By More Than One State, Gulf of Fonseca, Historic Bays, law of the sea
The TSC and the LOSC contain no definition of historic bays. According to the Annex VII Arbitral Tribunal in the South China Sea Arbitration (Merits), a ‘historic bay’ is ‘a bay in which a State claims historic waters’. As historic bays are one of the categories of ‘historic waters’, the legal regime of historic bays should be examined in the broad context of historic waters. According to the ICJ, ‘historic waters’ usually mean ‘waters which are treated as internal waters but which would not have that character were it not for the existence of [a] historic title’.. what is the meaning of Historic Bays on tle law of the sea and LOSC, Concept of Historic Waters, geographical sense, Gulf of Sert, Historic Bays, historic rights, historic waters, ICJ, law of the sea, LOSC, Tunisia/Libya case
In this regard, the Arbitral Tribunal, in the 1910 North Atlantic Coast Fisheries case, stated:
the geographical character of a bay contains conditions which concern the interests of the territorial sovereign to a more intimate and important extent than do those connected with the open coast. Thus conditions of national and territorial integrity, of defense, of commerce and of industry are all vitally concerned with the control of the bays penetrating the national coast line.
Furthermore, where the low-water line rule applies to a bay whose mouth is less than twice the breadth of the territorial sea, the high seas may be enclosed within the bay. This situation will create inconvenient results for various marine activities.. the meaning of the Juridical Bays in the law of the sea and LOSC, 10-mile formula, Arbitral Tribunal, Article 10(6) of the LOSC, customary international law, Fisheries case, Juridical Bays, law of the sea, LOSC, low-water line, North Atlantic Coast Fisheries case, territorial sea
Straight baselines can be defined as:
a system of straight lines joining specified or discrete points on the low-water line, usually known as straight baseline turning points, which may be used only 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 essential difference between the straight baseline system and the normal baseline system is that under the straight baseline system, baselines are drawn across water, not along the coast.. Straight Baselines meaning on the law of the sea and LOSC, Anglo-Norwegian Fisheries Case, baseline meaning, Baselines under the International Law of the Sea, law of the sea, LOSC, low-tide elevations, low-water line, low-water line along the coast, skjoergaard, straight baseline definition, Straight Baselines, types of baseline in maritime law, What is high water line?, What is straight baseline method?, What is territorial sea baseline?, What is the baseline?, What is the meaning of 12 nautical miles?, What’s high and low water marks?
The first paradigm, i.e. the law of the divided oceans, rests on the Westphalian conception of international law stressing the safeguarding of State sovereignty. It aims to reconcile individual interests of States in each jurisdictional zone. In this sense, the State may be regarded as the primary subject of the law of the divided oceans. The spatial ambit of each jurisdictional zone is in principle defined spatially, based on distance from the coast, irrespective of the nature of the ocean and the natural resources within it.. the view on the some Paradigms in the Law of the Sea, Common Ocean, Divided Oceans, international community, law of the sea
First, the primary function of international law involves the spatial distribution of jurisdiction of States, and the same applies to the law of the sea. The contemporary international law of the sea divides the ocean into multiple jurisdictional zones, such as internal waters, territorial seas, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), archipelagic waters, the continental shelf, the high seas and the Area, i.e. ‘the sea-bed and ocean floor and subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction’.. what is Functions of the Law of the Sea?, EEZ, exclusive economic zone, law of the sea
also based on the article 76 of UNCLOS III, Article76, Definition of the 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 continental shelf of a coastal State shall not extend beyond the limits provided for in paragraphs 4 to 6.The continental margin comprises the submerged prolongation of the land mass of the coastal State, and consists of the seabed and subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the rise. It does not include the deep ocean floor with its oceanic ridges or the subsoil thereof. (a) For the purposes of this Convention, the coastal State shall establish the outer edge of the continental margin wherever the margin extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured, by either:….what is the meaning of continental shelf?, article 76, continental shelf, law of the sea, What are the characteristics of the continental shelf?, What does continental slope mean?, What extended continental shelf?, What is continental shelf limit?, What is the importance of continental shelf?, What is the largest continental shelf?, Where is the continental shelf?
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MARITIME ZONE AND JURISDICTION, contiguous zone, continental shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), High Seas and Deep Ocean Floor, internal waters, law of the sea, Maritime Claims, maritime zone, Maritime Zones and How They Are Determined, River Mouths, territorial sea
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On 14 November 2012, Argentina filed with the Tribunal a request for the prescription of provisional measures under article 290, paragraph 5, of the Convention in a dispute concerning “the detention by Ghana […] of the warship ‘ARA Fragata Libertad’”. The case was entered into the Tribunal’s list of cases as Case No. 20.
On 3 July 2001, an Application under article 292 of the Convention was filed on behalf of Panama against Yemen for the prompt release of the Chaisiri Reefer 2, a vessel flying the flag of Panama, its cargo and crew. The case was entered in the list of cases as Case No. 9.
On 21 March 2001, an Application under article 292 of the Convention was filed on behalf of Belize against France for the prompt release of the fishing vessel Grand Prince, flying the flag of Belize. The case was entered in the list of cases as Case No. 8.
By an exchange of letters dated 18 and 19 December 2000, Chile and the European Community agreed to submit a dispute concerning the conservation and sustainable exploitation of swordfish stocks in the South-Eastern Pacific Ocean to a special chamber of the Tribunal to be formed in accordance with article 15, paragraph 2, of the Statute.By Order dated 20 December 2000, the Tribunal decided to accede to the request of the parties to form a special chamber to deal with the case and determined the composition of the Special Chamber with their approval. The composition of the Special Chamber was as follows: President: P. Chandrasekhara Rao, Members: Judge Hugo Caminos, Judge Alexander Yankov, Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum and Judge ad hoc Francisco Orrego Vicuña. By the same Order, the Tribunal made provision in respect of preliminary objections and for the filing of the written pleadings. The case was entered in the list of cases as Case No. 7.
On 27 November 2000, an Application under article 292 of the Convention was filed on behalf of Seychelles against France concerning the release of the fishing vessel Monte Confurco, flying the flag of Seychelles, and its Master. The case was entered in the list of cases as Case No. 6.
On 30 July 1999, a Request for the prescription of provisional measures, pending the constitution of an arbitral tribunal, was filed by facsimile in the Registry of the Tribunal by New Zealand in accordance with article 290, paragraph 5, of the Convention, in a dispute against Japan concerning southern bluefin tuna. The Request was accompanied by a copy of a document dated 15 July 1999, instituting arbitral proceedings against Japan. The Request of New Zealand was entered in the list of cases as Case No. 3.