There has been a recent increase in clashes between warships asserting rights to navigate and states asserting sovereignty over coastal waters. This book argues for a set of rules which respect the rights of coastal states to protect their sovereignty and of warships to navigate lawfully, whilst also outlining the limits of each.
The book addresses the issue of the clash between warships and states by considering the general principles applying to use of force in the law of the sea and the law of national self-defence. It focuses on the right of coastal states to use force to prevent passage of warships which threaten their sovereignty, with particular reference to the specific maritime zones, as well as by warships to ensure passage or to defend themselves. The book also assesses the extent to which the law of armed conflict may be applicable to these issues. The conclusion draws together a set of rules which take account of both contemporary and historical events and seeks to balance the competing interests at stake.
Providing a concise overview of the enduring issue of freedom of navigation, this book will appeal to anyone studying international law, the law of the sea, security studies and international relations. It will also be of interest to naval, coast guard and military officers as well as government legal advisors.