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Military Activity In The Eez: Exclusive Or Excluded Right?

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Chapter Summary

"Uncertainty" is probably the best word to describe the status of "military activity" in the modern Law of the Sea. The 1982 UNCLOS could not be considered an appropriate instrument to resolve all controversial issues, particularly in regard to exclusive economic zone (EEZs) and continental shelf claims. Because of this, critical issues like combat exercises, intelligence gathering, and hydrographic survey are very much dependent on coastal States' interests and regional ambitions. The concept of "freedom of navigation," the longstanding unchangeable principle for most navies, conflicts with coastal States' concerns that such uninvited military activities in close proximity to their territories could threaten their national security or undermine their resource sovereignty. The inclusion of issues like environmental protection, illegal activities at sea, and resource management and protection necessitates acceptance of broader responsibilities and different priorities by military authorities.

Keywords: coastal States; exclusive economic zone (EEZ); freedom of navigation; hydrographic survey; military activity; UNCLOS



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