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Part I Marine Environmental Law, s.C Response to Marine Pollution Casualties, 8 Intervention in the Highs Seas in Cases of Marine Pollution Casualties

Agustín Blanco-Bazán

From: The IMLI Manual on International Maritime Law: Volume III: Marine Environmental Law and International Maritime Security Law

Edited By: David Joseph Attard, Malgosia Fitzmaurice, Norman Martinez, Riyaz Hamza

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 June 2024

Regional co-operation — Natural resources — Marine living resources — Pollution — Coastal states — Ships / vessels

This chapter explains the treaty law provisions regulating the exercise of coastal State intervention beyond territorial boundaries. The right of a coastal State to intervene within its territorial sea to counteract accidental pollution caused by foreign ships is widely accepted as an entitlement related to that State’s sovereignty over the belt of sea adjacent to its land territory and its internal waters. In this case, limitations to coastal State sovereignty are drawn by the universally accepted treaty rules governing innocent passage. However, the right to intervene beyond the territorial sea is acknowledged only as an exceptional remedy related to the concept of self-defence, in this case the need to protect vital maritime living and non-living resources and coastal interests against imminent and grave risks of pollution resulting from an accident involving foreign ships.

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