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The Compulsory Pilotage Regime In The Torres Strait A Melting Pot Of Operational, Legal, And Political Considerations

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Chapter Summary

On 6 October 2006, Australia introduced compulsory pilotage for the Torres Strait and Great North East Channel. The shipping route through this area constitutes a strait used for international navigation to which the transit passage regime in Part III of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) applies. This chapter addresses the mix of legal, operational and political considerations with the Torres Strait pilotage regime. While the regime has been introduced into Australian domestic law, doubts have been raised about whether the regime is in accordance with international law, particularly Part III of the LOS Convention. Ambassador Tommy Koh of Singapore considers that Australias case is weak, and sets an unfortunate precedent. On the other hand, there are many political and operational factors that suggest that the Australian government had no alternative but to introduce the system of compulsory pilotage for the Torres Strait.

Keywords: compulsory pilotage; international law; international navigation; LOS Convention; political considerations; Torres Strait



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