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Factsheet: The U.S. Freedom of Navigation Program

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Background The U.S. Department of Defense describes the U.S. government’s Freedom of Navigation Program in a fact sheet on its website: As stated in the U.S. Oceans Policy (1983), the United States “will exercise and assert its rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea on a worldwide basis in a manner that is consistent with the balance of interests” reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention. Some coastal States assert excessive maritime claims—that is, claims to maritime zones or jurisdiction that are inconsistent with the international law of the sea and, if left unchallenged, could impinge on the rights,… Read More »Factsheet: The U.S. Freedom of Navigation Program

Factsheet: Zones of Maritime Jurisdiction

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The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is an international agreement that was concluded in 1982 and entered into force in 1994. The convention contains a regime for governing the world’s oceans, outlining the rights and responsibilities of states. One of the most important functions of the convention is to define different zones of maritime jurisdiction. States enjoy different rights within these zones, including navigational rights and resource exploration rights. Where these zones overlap, disputes can arise. The most common kind of disputes concerns overlapping exclusive economic zones, when the distance between two states is less… Read More »Factsheet: Zones of Maritime Jurisdiction