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Articles on Law of the sea

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HMS Defender: at the centre of an international maritime dispute. Neil Watkin/Alamy Stock Photo

HMS Defender incident: what the law of the sea says

Nothing suggests that HMS Defender’s passage was anything but continuous and expeditious. But the UK should avoid relying on Ukrainian “permission” as a justification.
Manganese nodules on the Atlantic Ocean floor off the southeastern United States, discovered in 2019 during the Deep Sea Ventures pilot test. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

A rush is on to mine the deep seabed, with effects on ocean life that aren’t well understood

Companies are eager to mine the deep ocean for valuable mineral deposits. But scientists are concerned about impacts on sea life, including creatures that haven’t even been discovered yet.
The 153 intercepted asylum seekers are reportedly being detained at sea aboard the ACV Ocean Protector, pictured here in Hobart. Flickr/Grahame Bowland

Court to rule on intercepting and transferring asylum seekers at sea

Lawyers for 153 Sri Lankan asylum seekers on a boat intercepted by the Australian government applied for a full bench of the High Court to hear its case on August 5 at a directions hearing on Friday. Whereas…
Australia’s maritime search and rescue zone covers a vast area. AMSA/AAP

The law of the sea and commercial ships in the search for MH370

The first ship to reach the area of Indian ocean being searched for the missing flight MH370 is the Norwegian commercial car carrier, the Höegh St Petersburg. At the request of the Australian Maritime…
The decision to investigate the Australian navy’s actions in towing back asylum boats could have been an opportunity for greater transparency. AAP/Scott Fisher

Indonesia incursion report provides more questions than answers on turn-backs

The release on Wednesday of the review into the circumstances of how and why the Australian navy repeatedly entered Indonesian waters might have been expected finally to reveal information about Australia’s…
What are Australia’s legal and moral responsibilities under the relevant conventions and the law of the sea to rescue and ‘turn back’ asylum seeker boats? AAP

Explainer: the law of the sea and asylum seekers

Prime minister Tony Abbott said on Monday he expects Jakarta to take responsibility for the asylum seekers that Australian authorities rescue in Indonesia’s search and rescue zone. He claims this is the…
What are the legal implications for proposals to ‘tow back’ and ‘push back’ asylum seeker boats by the Australian Navy? AAP/Scott Fisher

Explainer: the legality of turning or towing back asylum boats

The Coalition promises it will “turn back” asylum seeker boats in Australian waters where it is safe to do so if it wins the next election. With Australian border patrols said to be at “breaking point…

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