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2 Freedom of the High Seas

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces the principle of the freedom of the high seas as codified in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention). It addresses particular high seas freedoms: the freedom of navigation, the freedom of overflight, the freedom of fishing, the freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines, and other freedoms. The chapter then explores important constraints on the exercise of high seas freedoms: the requirement that states exercise high seas freedoms with reasonable regard to the interests of other states, and the requirement that the high seas be used for peaceful purposes. The chapter also addresses the duty to render assistance to those in distress on the high seas. The exercise by individual states of their high seas freedoms involves a consideration of global community interests.

Keywords: freedom of fishing; freedom of navigation; freedom of overflight; high seas freedoms; Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention; submarine cables



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