8 Enforcement Powers of Coastal States in Relation to the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles
- Coastal states — Continental shelf — Hot pursuit — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)
This chapter explains why coastal States have a right to enforce their regulations in relation to the continental shelf beyond 200 nm against foreign vessels on the high seas. It is well recognized in international law that enforcement jurisdiction may not always coexist with prescriptive jurisdiction. Although there is no explicit provision in the Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC) allowing for enforcement jurisdiction in relation to the continental shelf, the historical development of the continental shelf doctrine demonstrates that ‘sovereign rights’ were taken to include both legislative and enforcement rights. This approach is supported by limited State practice, and has been confirmed in recent international decisions.