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The law of naval exclusion zones

Mundis, Daryl (2008) The law of naval exclusion zones. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The present work examines naval exclusion zones, with particular emphasis on the jus in bello applicable to such zones. The issues presented by the establishment and use of naval exclusion relate to many aspects of the law of the sea and naval warfare. Naval exclusion zones represent an important issue for national security policy makers, in that the use of such zones during armed conflicts at sea can limit the geographic scope of the conflict. While such zones may promote the principles enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter and discourage belligerents from waging naval warfare on a global scale, the use of such zones have the potential for disaster, in that naval commanders who mistakenly operate under the assumption that such zones are “free-fire zones” run the risk of unlawfully sinking hospital ships or other protected vessels. Moreover, naval exclusion zones have become increasingly common during modern naval conflicts, including the Falklands, Iran-Iraq and Persian Gulf Wars. Finally, even when used within the bounds of international law, naval exclusion zones still have the potential to disrupt commercial uses of the seas since they often cut across the claims of neutrals, potentially interfering with neutral commerce, oil exploration or fishing. This thesis traces the development of naval exclusion zones, with particular emphasis on the following: • The historical uses of such zones • The permissible threatres of naval operations under the modern law of the sea regime • The permissible scope of activity within such zones vis-à- vis belligerent warships and merchant vessels • The rights of neutrals in and around naval exclusion zones • The legality of such zones as analysed through the traditional sources of international law The thesis then concludes with recommendations for clarifying and strengthening the rules concerning the scope of permissible activity within such zones.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Daryl A. Mundis
Library of Congress subject classification: K Law > K Law (General)
Sets: Departments > Law
Supervisor: Greenwood, Christopher

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