The Law of the Sea Essay

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The Law of the Sea

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
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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 state to have exclusive or principal rights. It enables coastal states to protect something without extending their territorial sea and is a compromise measure. These zones are not attached to the land territory in law.

Concept was introduced in 1930 by French writer Gidel and it appeared in the Convention on the Territorial Sea. Sanitary and immigration enforcement is justifiable by the 1958 Convention but protection of customs has long been established. Contiguous zones were restricted to within 12 miles so a state which had claimed a 12 mile territorial sea were exempt from this. This coupled with the restriction of jurisdiction to customs, sanitary and immigration maters is the reason for the decline in the relevance of contiguous zones in recent years. However, based on the 1982 Convention a state may claim up to 24 miles in order to preserve the concept. The 1982 Convention also changed the status of the contiguous zone from being part of the high seas to part of the EEZ.

Territorial Sea comes within the sovereignty of a coastal state also extending to the airspace. These were drafted in the 1982

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