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8 Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Straits, and Archipelagic Waters

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the territorial sea, a narrow band of coastal waters over which the coastal state traditionally has exercised authority. It explores the breadth of the territorial sea and its juridical status in international law. The chapter focuses on the right of foreign vessels to engage in innocent passage, which constitutes one significant limit on the authority of a coastal state over its territorial sea. It looks at the contiguous zone, which extends beyond the territorial sea, and the conceptual links between the territorial sea and the contiguous zone. The chapter examines two navigational regimes developed at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III) and codified in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention): transit passage through straits and archipelagic sea lanes passage through archipelagic waters.

Keywords: archipelagic waters; coastal state; contiguous zone; Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention; straits; territorial sea; UNCLOS III



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