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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Territorial Sea

Sarah Wolf

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 21 March 2023

Territorial sea — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) — Baselines — Innocent passage — Jurisdiction of states, territoriality principle

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The territorial sea (also called territorial waters) is a maritime area beyond and adjacent to the internal waters, and shall not extend beyond twelve nautical miles (‘nm’) from the baselines. In the territorial sea the coastal State exercises sovereignty extending to the air space over the territorial sea as well as to its bed and subsoil (Art. 2 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; Arts 1–2 UN Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone [‘Territorial Sea Convention’]). In principle, the coastal State exercises complete legislative and enforcement...
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