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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Internal Waters

Kaare Bangert

Subject(s):
Internal waters — Territorial sea — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) — Baselines — Fisheries — Exclusive economic zone — Delimitation — Ships / vessels — Marine environment, protection — Sovereignty — Territory, title

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 Internal waters are generally defined in relation to the territorial sea as the waters inside the inner limit of the territorial sea. But internal waters can exist without a territorial sea, and a territorial sea can exist without internal waters. The concept comprises saltwater areas, as well as internal freshwater areas, such as rivers and lakes. Important areas of internal waters such as navigable rivers have often, however, been subjected to special regimes, eg the international rivers regime and the Kiel Canal, the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal . The term...
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