Abstract 2014/1 p. 45

Undoubtedly, the 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is of crucial importance for coastal States. Nevertheless, the rights conferred by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the corresponding customary international law are functionally limited and, what is equally important, subject to the customary rights other States enjoy in that special sea area. Those customary rights include the exercise of a wide variety of military activities, including the exercise of belligerent rights in times of an international armed conflict, which the coastal State must tolerate in its EEZ. The practice of 18 coastal States that aim at restricting or prohibiting certain military activities in their EEZ is therefore in violation of the law of the sea as it currently stands. All States, including land-locked States, have a common interest in preserving the delicately balanced regime applicable to the EEZ, including the right of military activities, and they should with a view to preserving their economic and security interests continue to challenge, if necessary robustly, coastal States’ claims that have no basis in the law of the sea.

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