Coastal States’ Rights in the Maritime Areas under UNCLOS

Tullio Treves


Maritime areas (or zones) are areas of the sea for which international law prescribes spatial limits and a regime. In other words, for each maritime area, international law answers two questions. First, where does it begin and where does it end? Second, which are the rights that different categories of States can exercise in it? Only the second question is of interest for the purposes of the present paper. While traditional international law knew only two maritime areas –the territorial sea and the high seas – in today’s international law there are numerous different maritime areas, reflecting the variety of activities conducted in the seas in the present time. As UNCLOS is very widely ratified and in most parts considered to correspond to customary international law, in the present paper I will consider the maritime areas as described in it. There are, nonetheless, also maritime areas which are not envisaged in UNCLOS and whose compatibility with it may be discussed.

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ISSN 2236-997X (impresso) - ISSN 2237-1036 (on-line)

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