policy brief: Ten things you need to know about State ocean jurisdiction

By Patrick Vrancken

1. There is no part of the ocean that is actually “beyond national jurisdiction”

At any place in the ocean, there is always at least one State which may or must exercise its ocean jurisdiction, i.e. its authority under international law to be involved directly in a concrete situation arising at that place. For example, the State of which individuals have the nationality has the jurisdiction to make it an offence under its domestic law for those individuals to engage in specific activities in the International Seabed Area, such as, for instance, harvesting mineral or genetic resources of the Area in violation of international law. Another example is that a State of which a vessel flies the flag has the jurisdiction to regulate the working conditions on that vessel while it sails on the high seas….”

Artwork: Margherita Brunori

Related SDGs:

  • Climate action
  • Life below water