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Chapter 12. Protecting Submarine Cables from Intentional Damage—The Security Gap

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the gaps and loopholes in the current legal regime governing the protection of submarine cables from terrorist attacks and other intentional acts that damage or destroy cables. It examines the incidents of intentional damage to submarine cables and discusses general principles of criminal jurisdiction, as many attacks against submarine cables will occur outside the territory of any State. The chapter explores the adequacy of the legal regime established in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and sets out recommendations on what steps can be taken to protect submarine cables from intentional damage. It also discusses recent developments and increasing recognition of the threat to submarine cables. Intentional acts of damage to submarine cables will occur either within areas under the territorial sovereignty of a coastal State or in areas outside the territorial sovereignty of a coastal State.

Keywords: coastal State; criminal jurisdiction; intentional damage; security gap; submarine cables; territorial sovereignty; UNCLOS



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