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High Seas And The International Seabed Area

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Chapter Summary

The high seas include all the waters of the sea outside of the internal waters, archipelagic waters, territorial seas and EEZs of the coastal States. The high seas are not subject to the sovereignty of any State. The freedom of the high seas is part of customary international law as well as South African law, in the absence, once again, of any statutory provision to the contrary. The freedom of the high seas is limited in a number of ways. The jurisdiction of States on the high seas is limited to the ships that fly their flag. High seas enforcement based on the right of hot pursuit derives from jurisdiction under the (quasi-) territorial principle whereas enforcement related to, for instance, piracy or slave trade, is based on jurisdiction under the universality principle.

Keywords: EEZs; high seas; international law; international seabed area; State jurisdiction

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