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10 The Law of Armed Conflict at Sea

Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg

From: The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law (3rd Edition)

Edited By: Dieter Fleck

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From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 02 December 2023

UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) — Ships / vessels — Territorial sea — Exclusive economic zone — High seas — Armed conflict — Warfare, sea — Protected persons and property — Prisoners of war
Naval warfare has never been limited to the military subjugation of the enemy. Its overall aim is sea denial and sea control. Methods necessary for sea control do not merely affect the parties to an international armed conflict but also states that are neutral or states not parties to the conflict. If the weakening of the enemy’s economy is also considered a legitimate goal, the law would be incomplete if it lacked rules relating to measures taken against neutral merchant shipping. Such rules are necessary since a state party to the conflict could otherwise shift...
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