Convention on the Law of the Sea/ no official answers. literature 2

Law of the Sea, branch of international law concerned with public order at sea. Much ofthis law is codified in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed Dec. 10, 1982. The convention, described as a “constitution for the oceans,” represe nts an attempt to codify international law regarding territorial waters, sea lanes, and oceanresources. It came into force in 1994 after it had been ratified by the requisite 60
countries; by the early 21st century the convention had been ratified by more than 150 countries.
According to the 1982 convention, each country’s sovereign territorial waters extend to a maximum of 12 nautical miles (22 km) beyond its coast, but foreign vessels are granted the right of innocent passage through this zone. Passage is innocent as long as a ship refrains from engaging in certain prohibited activities, including weapons testing, spying,
smuggling, serious pollution, fishing, or scientific research. Where territorial waters comprise straits used for international navigation (e.g., the strait s of Gibraltar, Mandeb, Hormuz, and Malacca), the navigational rights of foreign shipping are strengthened by the replacement of the regime of innocent passage by one of transit passage, which places fewer restrictions on foreign ships. A similar regime ex ists in major sea lanes through the waters of archipelagos (e.g., Indonesia). Beyond its territorial waters, every coastal country may establish an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extending 200 nautical miles (370 km) from shore. Within the EEZ the coastal state has the right to exploit and regulate fisheries, construct artificial isl ands and installations, use the zone for other economic purposes (e.g., the generation of energyfrom waves), and regulate scientific r esearch by foreign vessels. Otherwise, foreign vessels (and aircraft) are entitled to move freely through (and over) the zone. With regard to the seabed beyond territorial waters, every coastal country has exclusive rights to the oil, gas, and other resources in the seabed up to 200 nautical miles from shore or to the outer edge of the continental margin, whichever is the further, subject to an
overall limit of 350 nautical miles (650 km) from the coast or 100 nautical miles (185 km) beyond the 2,500 metre isobath (a line connecting equal points of water depth). Legally, this area is known as the continental shelf, though it differ s considerably from the
geological definition of the continental shelf. Where the territorial waters, EEZs, or
continental shelves of neighbouring countries overlap, a boundary line must be drawn by agreement to achieve an equitable solution. Many such bou ndaries have been agreed upon, but in some cases when the countries have been unable to reach agreement the boundary has been determined by the International Court of Justice (ICJ; e.g., the boundary between Bahrain and Qatar) or by an arbitration tribunal (e.g., the boundary between France and the United Kingdom). The most common form of boundary is an equidistance line (sometimes modified to take account of special circumstances) between equidistance line (sometimes modified to take account of special circumstances) between the coasts concerned.the coasts concerned.
The high seas lie beyond the zones described above. The waters and airspace of this area The high seas lie beyond the zones described above. The waters and airspace of this area are open to use by all countries, except for those activities prohibited by international law are open to use by all countries, except for those activities prohibited by international law (e.g., the testing of nuclear weapons). The bed of the high seas is known(e.g., the testing of nuclear weapons). The bed of the high seas is known as the as the International Seabed Area (also known as “the Area”), for which the 1982 convention International Seabed Area (also known as “the Area”), for which the 1982 convention established a separate and detailed legal regime. In its original form this regime was established a separate and detailed legal regime. In its original form this regime was unacceptable to developed countries, principally because of the degree of regunacceptable to developed countries, principally because of the degree of regulation ulation involved, and was subsequently modified extensively by a supplementary treaty (1994) to involved, and was subsequently modified extensively by a supplementary treaty (1994) to meet their concerns. Under the modified regime the minerals on the ocean floor beneath meet their concerns. Under the modified regime the minerals on the ocean floor beneath the high seas are deemed “the common heritage of mankind,” and their explthe high seas are deemed “the common heritage of mankind,” and their exploitation is oitation is administered by the International Seabed Authority (ISA). Any commercial exploration or administered by the International Seabed Authority (ISA). Any commercial exploration or mining of the seabed is carried out by private or state concerns regulated and licensed by mining of the seabed is carried out by private or state concerns regulated and licensed by the ISA, though thus far only exploration has been carried out. Ithe ISA, though thus far only exploration has been carried out. If or when commercial f or when commercial mining begins, a global mining enterprise would be established and afforded sites equal in mining begins, a global mining enterprise would be established and afforded sites equal in size or value to those mined by private or state companies. Fees and royalties from private size or value to those mined by private or state companies. Fees and royalties from private and state mining concerns and any profits made by thand state mining concerns and any profits made by the global enterprise would be e global enterprise would be distributed to developing countries. Private mining companies are encouraged to sell their distributed to developing countries. Private mining companies are encouraged to sell their technology and technical expertise to the global enterprise and to developing countries.technology and technical expertise to the global enterprise and to developing countries.
On many issues the 1982 convention contains precise and detailed regulations (e.g., on
On many issues the 1982 convention contains precise and detailed regulations (e.g., on innocent passage through territorial waters and the definition of the continental shelf), but innocent passage through territorial waters and the definition of the continental shelf), but on other matters (e.g., safety of shipping, pollution prevention, and fisheon other matters (e.g., safety of shipping, pollution prevention, and fisheries conservation ries conservation and management) it merely provides a framework, laying down broad principles but and management) it merely provides a framework, laying down broad principles but leaving the elaboration of rules to other treaties. Regarding the safety of shipping, leaving the elaboration of rules to other treaties. Regarding the safety of shipping, detailed provisions on the safety and seaworthiness of ships, collisiondetailed provisions on the safety and seaworthiness of ships, collision avoidance, and the avoidance, and the qualification of crews are contained in several treaties adopted under the auspices of the qualification of crews are contained in several treaties adopted under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). The IMO also has adopted strict antipollution standar(UN). The IMO also has adopted strict antipollution standards for ships. Pollution of the ds for ships. Pollution of the sea from other sources is regulated by several regional treaties, most of which have been sea from other sources is regulated by several regional treaties, most of which have been adopted under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme. The broad adopted under the aegis of the
United Nations Environment Programme. The broad standards for fisheries conservation in and management ostandards for fisheries conservation in and management of the EEZ (where most fishing f the EEZ (where most fishing takes place) laid out in the 1982 convention have been supplemented by nonbinding takes place) laid out in the 1982 convention have been supplemented by nonbinding guidelines contained in the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries adopted in 1995 guidelines contained in the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries adopted in 1995 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Principles ofby the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Principles of management for high seas management for high seas fishers are laid down in the UN fish stocks treaty (1995), which manages straddling and fishers are laid down in the UN fish stocks treaty (1995), which manages straddling and highly migratory fish stocks, and in detailed measures adopted by several regional highly migratory fish stocks, and in detailed measures adopted by several regional fisheries commissions.fisheries commissions.
Countries first attempt to settle any disputes stemming from the 1982 convention and its
Countries first attempt to settle any disputes stemming from the 1982 convention and its provisions through negotiations or other agreedprovisions through negotiations or other agreed–upon means of their choice (e.g., upon means of their choice (e.g., arbitration). If such efforts prove unsuccessful, a country may, subject to some arbitration). If such efforts prove unsuccessful, a country may, subject to some
exceptions, refer the dispute for compulsory settlement by the UN International Tribunal
exceptions, refer the dispute for compulsory settlement by the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (located in Hamburg, Ger.), by arbitration, or by the ICJ. Resort to for the Law of the Sea (located in Hamburg, Ger.), by arbitration, or by the ICJ. Resort to these compulsory procedures has been quite limited.these compulsory procedures has been quite limited.
Robin R. Churchill
Robin R. Churchill

  1. Question: What is the significance of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the
  2. Question: What is the significance of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in relation to public order at sea?Sea in relation to public order at sea?
  3. Question: Explain the concept of innocent passage through territorial waters as
  4. Question: Explain the concept of innocent passage through territorial waters as defined by the 1982 convention.defined by the 1982 convention.
  5. Question: How are navigational rights of foreign shipping strengthened in straits used
  6. Question: How are navigational rights of foreign shipping strengthened in straits used for international navigation according to the for international navigation according to the 1982 convention?1982 convention?
  7. Question: What rights does a coastal country have within its exclusive economic zone
  8. Question: What rights does a coastal country have within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) according to the 1982 convention?(EEZ) according to the 1982 convention?
  9. Question: How are disputes arising from the 1982 convention and its provisions
  10. Question: How are disputes arising from the 1982 convention and its provisions settled, and what settled, and what institutions are involved in the settlement process?institutions are involved in the settlement process?

Answer

1.     Summary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1994) sets rules for maritime activities. It outlines territorial waters, allows 12-mile limits, and covers innocent passage of foreign ships. The convention introduces exclusive economic zones (EEZs) extending 200 nautical miles from coastlines, granting coastal states rights over resources. It also details continental shelf rights and international water activities, balancing national and global maritime interests. Furthermore, it governs navigation in international straits and offers dispute resolution methods, ensuring orderly and peaceful ocean resource use and conservation.

2.     Questions

1)      Significance for Public Order at Sea is The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea : effective from 1994, is essential in maintaining public order at sea. It provides a legal framework for maritime activities, ensuring peaceful and orderly use of ocean resources. The convention defines territorial waters, regulates passage rights, and outlines jurisdiction over maritime resources, significantly contributing to global maritime stability.

2)      Concept of Innocent Passage : According to the 1982 convention, innocent passage allows foreign vessels to navigate through a country’s territorial waters without threatening the coastal state’s peace, order, or security. It prohibits activities like weapons testing, espionage, smuggling, serious pollution, fishing, and unauthorized scientific research.

3)      Navigational Rights in International Straits : The convention enhances navigational rights in international straits by replacing the regime of innocent passage with transit passage, reducing restrictions on foreign ships and promoting efficient maritime travel.

Rights within Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) : The convention grants coastal countries extensive rights within their EEZ, including exploitation

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