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Part V Revival of Classical Concepts?, Ch.43 Blockades and Interdictions

Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law

Edited By: Marc Weller

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 05 October 2023

UN Charter — Specific treaties — State practice — Opinio juris — Customary international law — Evidence — Admissibility of evidence — Flag state — Territorial sea — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) — Coastal states — Hot pursuit

This chapter examines the rules and principles that govern a naval or aerial blockade or some other form of interference with foreign vessels and aircraft in the absence of an explicit authorization by the UN Security Council. After clarifying the concept of blockade under the jus ad bellum and the jus in bello, it considers blockades authorized as military enforcement measures. It also discusses some unresolved or even contested issues regarding the legality of blockades, with reference to blockades in situations other than international armed conflict and the principle of proportionality in relation to humanity. The scope of interdiction operations and its legal bases under international treaties are analysed next, together with maritime interdiction operations and the applicability of prize law during non-international armed conflicts. Finally, the chapter explores the right of individual or collective self-defence as a basis for interdiction operations.

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