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The 'territorialisation' of the Exclusive Economic Zone: implications for maritime jurisdiction

By Sophia Kopela


Due to its functional nature, the EEZ is characterised by a balance between the sovereign rights and jurisdictions recognised in favour of coastal states and the freedoms and rights enjoyed by third states. However, coastal states have tried to enhance their rights and jurisdictions and to restrict the rights of third states in their EEZ. This article discusses and analyses the various aspects of these expansionist trends with an emphasis on state practice. In particular, it attempts to identify and classify the sources of tension in the EEZ, and to assess their impact on maritime jurisdiction and on the legal nature of the EEZ. It concludes that state practice manifests a trend for the ‘functional’ territorialisation of the EEZ. Expansionist trends in the EEZ are mostly due to coastal states’ concerns regarding the protection of their national interests, specifically referring to marine pollution and security. It is important that sources of tension in the EEZ are addressed through dialogue and cooperation with a view to reaching a consensus regarding the rights exercised in the EEZ by user states, and to minimising the risk of confrontation

Topics: law
Year: 2009
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