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Volume :9 Issue : 35 1989      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Forms of Sovereignty of A State Over Oceans and Seas (in Arabic)

Auther : Taha Al-Farra, H. A. Al-Fazari

Since time immemorial, claims to sovereignty over oceans and seas have been controversial. At the end of the Middle Ages, Spain and Portugal came to dominate vast areas of thelknown seas and oceans and each of them tried to bar others from using them in accordance with the old idea of closed sea mare clausum. However, the increasing influence of many other sovereign states in later times has emphatically reasserted the freedom of seas mare Ibenam. Today, there is no other area of international law that is subject to such extensive and drastic changes as the law of the sea.

The objective of this research is to study the nature and extent of sovereignty of a state over seas and oceans.

According to universal conventions, the seas are to be divided in reference to rights of soveriegnty, into several areas: viz. internal waters, territorial seas, contiguous zones, exclusive economic zones, and high seas. The seaward limit of each of these zones is set in reference to a line known as the base-line. Geometric lines closing fjords, bays, and river mouths or lakes and other base-line segments drawn along the costs, constitute the overall base line of a state. This line, however, is considered as the seaward limit of the internal waters of a coastal state. Coastal states are free to decide on the location of their base lines. The soveriegnty of states over their internal waters is exclusive.

The territorial sea is composed of a continuous belt of offshore waters lying along the seaward side of the base-line. Its breadth is measured accordingly sea-wards from this line. Every state has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding twelve nautical miles.

Although states have full and complete sovereignty over their territorial seas, they are still fettered, in the excercise of such sovereignty, by certain restrictions, such as theright of innocent passage of ships of other states.

 

 

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