- Maritime boundaries — Seafarers — Nationality of ships — Straits — Territorial sea — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)
This chapter discusses issues that emerge regarding the nationality, registration, and ownerships of ships. It looks into the notion of the freedom of the high seas—a concept that stresses the freedom to navigate the oceans. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), freedom of the high seas means the unrestricted access of vessels belonging to all nations, including land-locked States, to all parts of the sea that are not included in the territorial sea or internal waters of a State. International law looks to individual States to ensure and enforce compliance within international law through the jurisdiction exercised over their national vessels. Jurisdiction over a vessel on the high seas resides solely with the State to which the vessel belongs and the corollary of that rule is that all vessels using the high seas must possess nationality; this is generally obtained by registration.
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