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Old 12-13-2009, 02:54 PM   #1
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Hi All,

I'm interested in finding Laws/Regulations relating to life on the sea. Does anyone know what laws apply and where I might find a link to the various laws.

I know this question is quite broad but any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Shane
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:13 PM   #2
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Is this the sort of thing that you're looking for? - HERE

Have a look at the CONTENTS page of the Cruising Wiki (towards the bottom) - there is LOTS of different (other) useful information.

Hope that helps or, could you be a little more specific.
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:06 PM   #3
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Hi Lighthouse,

Thank you so much for the reply. It does indeed help. It appears that the main law is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It covers most areas of interest.

I also found the following link;

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/index.htm

Stormy
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:35 PM   #4
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The laws regulating conditions for those at sea vary very much. UNCLOS is the basic legislation although this does not apply in all coastal states. Flag state as well as coastal state legislation is also very important. If there is any specific issue then please let us know and we may be able to put you on the right course.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:40 AM   #5
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Hi Stephen,

Thank you for your reply. There was nothing specific. I am trying to gain some general knowledge in the laws governing the sea, possibly focusing on the high seas, as this area interests me.

Its more relating to any future trips that I will make on the high seas from Australia to another Country.

Initially I will be spending time around the Australian Coastline and as my experience grows will venture further out.

If possible, are you able to give me an example of where UNCLOS does not apply in Coastal States? Is it where two Coastal States are close to each other?

If there are to many variables, are you able to point me in the right direction?

Fair Winds

Shane (Stormy)
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:23 AM   #6
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Hi Shane,

On the high seas, the only legislation we have is UNCLOS unless you look at fisheries agreements, but these are agreements and not law.

UNCLOS is not applied in all coastal states as not all countries have signed up to it although there are just a very few which have not. It is not applied as some coastal states do not recognise the right to free, innocent passage. But this is not common.

That's about it really. Not much to go on.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:14 AM   #7
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Hi Shane,

On the high seas, the only legislation we have is UNCLOS unless you look at fisheries agreements, but these are agreements and not law.

UNCLOS is not applied in all coastal states as not all countries have signed up to it although there are just a very few which have not. It is not applied as some coastal states do not recognise the right to free, innocent passage. But this is not common.

That's about it really. Not much to go on.

Aye // Stephen
Stephen,

Thats fine....thanks for your help. I will have a read over UNCLOS as that should provide me with a lot of the high seas information.

Shane (Stormy)
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:44 AM   #8
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If you want to read up on the subject, the best book I know of, and which I can strongly recommend, is R.R. Churchill and A.V. Lowe's "The Law of the Sea". It is published by Manchester University Press ISBN 0 7190 4381 6 in hardback and 0 7190 4382 4 in paperback.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-14-2009, 03:59 PM   #9
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If you want to read up on the subject, the best book I know of, and which I can strongly recommend, is R.R. Churchill and A.V. Lowe's "The Law of the Sea". It is published by Manchester University Press ISBN 0 7190 4381 6 in hardback and 0 7190 4382 4 in paperback.

Aye // Stephen
Thanks.I will keep that book in mind. I will be going to the maritime bookshop in a couple of weeks to see what books they have on Single Handed Sailing and Multihulls. "The Law of the Sea" would make a great addition to an onboard library.

Shane
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:41 PM   #10
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Do countries other than the US publish annual Coast Pilots? Here in the US the Coast Pilot comes out each year and has all the latest notice to mariners and local regulations/restrictions... sadly a lot of local harbor masters (being local civil servants not mariners) don't even know what the US Coast Pilot is, but it's always a nice thing to have on hand when an ignorant harbor master gives you bum scoop or tries to tell you that you can't go or anchor somewhere that the CG says you can... the most common instances being when marina or harbor master tries to charge you for picking up their illegal mooring in a CG anchorage.

If Australia has an equivalent publication I would think it would be a good thing to have onboard.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:49 PM   #11
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The British Admiralty produce pilot books for the entire world. Obviously, with such a huige volume of information, they do not come out annually but corrections to the pilot books are issued. A new printing will take place as the situation warrents it.

Notices to Mariners, NTM, are promulgated weekly with No. 1 of every year containing a lot of general infiormation too.

Another good publicaticon is the Mariners Handbook, B.A. NP100.

In Sweden we follow pretty much the same concept, except that our pilot books are restricted to the Baltic, Kattegatt and Skagerrack. They are in Swedish too which restricts their usage somewhat.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:02 AM   #12
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umm AFIK there is no law of the high seas. there are guidelines and your flag country laws partaining to maritime practice. Most other things are agreements.

I do feel obligated to ask why you want to know about law where no one can enforce them? matters little.

if your boat is flagged in AU you are subject to AU law. same goes for any country except a few land bound ones that specifically state that trade out side the borders is not governed by the laws of that country. I think there are 5 or 6 of those not that you would want your vessel flagged on them cause the taxes are a little crushing.

however if you are interested in the guidelines that most ships at sea follow the English admeralty will be happy to go on at length.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:39 AM   #13
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@ twomt.

There is a Law of the Sea; the UN Convention which has, through the acquiescence of a sufficient number of member states, become law and it is enforceable. The issue of hot pursuit, as defined at the Montego Bay conference and contained in Part IV, Article 111, is point in case. It has been applied, sometimes wrongly, and proven several times in court. Cases such as United Kingdom vs. Denmark re the "Red Crusader" (Hague 1962) and United States vs. Kawaguchi (1976) as well as the cases re the vessels "South Tomi" and "Visara" which also spring to mind.

There is a law and there is a will to react when protecting one's own interests. The problem arises, as in the case of the piracy in the Indian Ocean, when countries choose not to react as the cost:benefit ratio of such operations makes them unsustainable or politically indefensible.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
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umm AFIK there is no law of the high seas. there are guidelines and your flag country laws partaining to maritime practice. Most other things are agreements.

I do feel obligated to ask why you want to know about law where no one can enforce them? matters little.

if your boat is flagged in AU you are subject to AU law. same goes for any country except a few land bound ones that specifically state that trade out side the borders is not governed by the laws of that country. I think there are 5 or 6 of those not that you would want your vessel flagged on them cause the taxes are a little crushing.

however if you are interested in the guidelines that most ships at sea follow the English admeralty will be happy to go on at length.
Thank you for the information. I will also have a look at the guidelines recommended in the Admiralty Law (Maritime Law).

I initially asked the question to gain knowledge about the laws/regulations/agreements pertaining to life on the water.

I'm currently in the planning stage of my liveaboard lifestyle and thought it would be good to know, even though there is a lack of enforcement. In the early stages I will be staying coastal until my experience grows then taking longer voyages.

I work using law in my current employment so I have an interest in that area.

Thanks again..

Shane (Stormy)
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