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The International Law of the SeaIndia and the UN Convention of 1982$
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Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780198060000

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198060000.001.0001

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Inland or Internal Waters

Inland or Internal Waters

(p.35) 2 Inland or Internal Waters
The International Law of the Sea

O.P. Sharma

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on ‘inland’ or ‘internal waters’ which are terms used to denote waters on the landward side of the baseline of the territorial sea around a State over which the State exercises sovereign rights. Foreign shipping has normally no legal rights of transit. The author discusses the rights of access to ports, and how coastal States can enforce their laws if a visiting ship threatens their interests. The main controversy in the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) related to the drawing of baselines, with particular initiatives in this respect being taken by Bangladesh. The importance of drawing baselines is then discussed. The 1982 Law of the Sea Convention outlines a number of conditions with respect to geographical features which include bays, the mouths of rivers, permanent harbour works, roadsteads, atolls, archipelagos, low tide elevations, artificial islands, and rocks.

Keywords:   inland waters, internal waters, ports, baselines, Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, Law of the Sea Convention, Bangladesh, coastal self-defence, submarines, covert intrusions

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