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Chapter Fifteen The Proliferation Security Initiative: Amending the Convention on the Law of the Sea by Stealth?

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Chapter Summary

President Bush launched the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) in May 2003 in response to security concerns arising from the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the potential for terrorists to gain access to such weapons. This is principally because of the inherent clash between the law of the sea and the principle of high seas freedom of navigation and the asserted right under the PSI of high seas interdiction of certain vessels. One of the founding principles of the law of the sea is the freedom of navigation. This essentially Grotian concept for the oceans is one which remained constant throughout the major codifications and developments in the law during the Twentieth Century. The law of the sea has already witnessed this phenomena when, during the 1950s and 1960s, many states asserted extensive fisheries zones which eventually morphed into the contemporary EEZ.

Keywords: freedom of navigation; Grotian concept; high seas interdiction; Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI); weapons of mass destruction (WMD)

10.1163/9789004279988_016
/content/books/b9789004279988_016
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