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3 Making or Breaking the International Law of Transit Passage Meeting Environmental and Safety Challenges in the Torres Strait with Compulsory Pilotage

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns the normative controversy and normative prospects of compulsory pilotage in the Torres Strait. In particular, it somewhat provocatively asserts that over the last several years we have been witnessing international law in the making in the Torres Strait. The actual practice of states in the Torres Strait seems to point to a developing local or special custom of compulsory pilotage, even if it is accepted that there may be some persistent objectors. Similarly, for parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the practice of compulsory pilotage may be having influence on the ambit of the meaning of transit passage through the Torres Strait under Part III of the Convention. The controversy surrounding compulsory pilotage in the Torres Strait is part of the long history of tension between coastal and maritime states and preferences between open and closed seas.

Keywords: Australia; international law; international navigation; Torres Strait; UNCLOS



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