7 The Intersection Between Coastal State Rights and High Seas Freedoms
- Natural resources — Marine living resources — Coastal states — Continental shelf — High seas — Flag state — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)
This chapter explores the dynamics between the rights of the coastal State to the continental shelf beyond 200 nm and the rights and freedoms of other States in the high seas that lie above the shelf. In Part VI of the Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC), article 78 requires coastal States not to ‘infringe or unjustifiably interfere’ with high seas freedoms. The article 78 language is examined with reference to the negotiating history of article 78 and its predecessor, article 5(1) of the Convention on the Continental Shelf. The chapter then outlines a proposed framework for decision making to determine whether a coastal State’s regulations or actions violate the terms of article 78. This discussion explores the extent to which coastal States can unilaterally interfere with the exercise of high seas freedoms.