Navigational Freedoms in a Time of Insecurity

Jon M. Van Dyke is with William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
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  • March 2007

    Navigational freedoms have increasingly come under restrictions because of ecological, economic and security concerns of coastal states. Fishing vessels, oil tankers, ships carrying ultra-hazardous nuclear cargoes and even military vessels have to conform to stringent international, regional and national regulations. Often there is a conflict of interest as maritime activities of one state can interfere with the efforts of others to utilise the sea. The Law of the Sea Convention was adopted to provide a balance among these competing interests. But new state practices have created challenges for the Convention that have to be better understood and dealt with. The balance between navigation and other national interests has continuously changed, and navigational freedoms appear to be disappearing during this evolutionary process.