Law of the Sea

Topics: Jurisdiction / Pages: 11 (2590 words) / Published: Nov 13th, 2012
Territorial Sea is established up to 12 miles from the baseline of the coast. This is an extension of the land and the coastal state exerts full sovereignty over the area. It is an area of national jurisdiction. Also establishes a contiguous zone where the coastal State may exercise the control necessary to (1) prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations (2) 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.

1 Compare and contrast the powers of coastal states in internal waters, the territorial sea and the contiguous zone. Internal Waters are assimilated into the territory of the state. A coastal state may exercise jurisdiction over foreign ships within its internal waters to enforce its laws, although the judicial authorities of the flag state may also act where crimes have occurred on board the ship. There exists therefore a concurrent jurisdiction.[1] A merchant vessel in a foreign port or in foreign internal waters is automatically subject to local jurisdiction unless the matter was concerning general conduct of the crew where it did not threaten peace and security it would be left, through courtesy to the flag state.

In the case of a warship however the authorisation of the captain or of the flag state is necessary before the coastal state may exercise its jurisdiction. Due to the status of warships as a direct arm of the sovereign if the flag state.

Contiguous Zone - Historically some states have claimed to exercise rights over particular zones of the high seas. This has diluted the principle of the freedom of the high seas. There have been numerous reasons for such extended authority including (1) prevention of infringement on customs, immigration or sanitary laws (2) to conserve fishing stock (3) to enable coastal

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