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The Contribution of Channels to the Definition of Straits Used For International Navigation

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

The questions of what is "a strait used for international navigation", and the regime applicable in such waterways or even in "broad" straits, remain unsettled in the LOS Convention. However, channels of navigation may assist in determining the "geographical situation" of international straits. It is submitted, therefore, that, where there is only one coastal state bordering more than one strait connecting the same parts of the high seas or the EEZ, the claim of transit passage through straits of secondary importance may be abusive. Obviously, the non-application of transit passage on the grounds of abuse of rights is not able to modify the international character of such waterways, the regime of non-suspendable innocent passage being thus applicable. Moreover, modalities of passage evidenced by the existence of maritime traffic through channels of navigation may be useful when determining the "extent" of the regime of transit passage in the so-called "broad" straits.

Affiliations: 1: Athens Bar (Greece)


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