Tue, Mar 23

POL 309-800, International Law
SUNY Oswego | Spring 2021
Dr. Craig Warkentin

  • Ch. 5, The Law of the Sea (279-310)

  • Describe principles of jurisdiction that apply on the high seas
  • Discuss relevant IL for enforcement actions in various sea zones

  • de novo (282)
  • mutatis mutandis (280)


P. 278

  1. Do you think there was a genuine link between the Kuwaiti tankers and the United States?
  2. What might other nations have done if they determined that there was not a genuine link between the Kuwaiti tankers and the state of registration, the U.S.? (See The M/V "Saiga" Case, pp. 289-307 infra.)
  3. Suppose a Dutch ship and a re-flagged Kuwaiti oil tanker had collided in the Persian Gulf. The newly registered U.S. oil tanker accuses the Dutch vessel of negligence and both nations (the U.S. and the Netherlands) agree to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice. Do you think the Dutch government could successfully reject the U.S. claim on the grounds that the U.S. had no right to represent the oil tanker at the international level? Compare The Nottebohm Case (Liechtenstein v. Guatemala), 1955 I.C.J. 4., pp. 355-360, with The M/V "Saiga" Case, (St. Vincent and the Grenadines v. Guinea), 1999 ITLOS No.2, pp. 289-307.

P. 283-284

  1. What gave the U.S. coast guard the right to arrest Guatemalan citizens sailing on the high seas in a Guatemalan registered ship?
  2. Suppose the countries from which the "El Almirante" came and the countries to which she intended to travel did not prohibit shipment or use of cocaine. Why should the United States be allowed to try Garcia, Torres and Ramirez for the possession with intent to distribute cocaine when there was no evidence that they intended to distribute cocaine in the United States?
  3. Suppose a coast guard vessel from a fundamentalist Muslim country that completely bans all liquor came across a U.S. vessel on the high seas. Suppose that the U.S. vessel embarked from Boston and was sailing to London, U.K. with the usual amount of liquor on board for consumption by the crew and passengers. Could the coast guard vessel from the liquor-banning country arrest the U.S. crew and try them for possession of intoxicating liquors with the intent to distribute?

P. 286

P. 289

P. 307-308

  1. What persuaded the Tribunal that the nationality of the Saiga was St. Vincent and the Grenadines?
  2. Why did the Tribunal conclude that Guinea had no right to refuse to recognize the right of the Saiga to fly the flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines even if there had been no genuine link between the ship and the state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines?
  3. Why did the Tribunal permit St. Vincent and the Grenadines to represent the claims of all persons with an interest in the Saiga, including the crew, even though none of them was a national of St. Vincent and the Grenadines?
  4. Why was Guinea's arrest, detention and seizure of the Saiga, the prosecution and conviction of its Master and the confiscation of the cargo illegal?
  5. Why has Guinea's claim to have exercised the right of hot pursuit of the Saiga rejected?
  6. Why was Guinea's use of force to arrest the Saiga and the crew considered illegal?
  7. Why was Guinea required to pay reparations for the injury to the crew, damage to the ship, and financial losses of the shipowners and cargo owners?
  8. What reparation did St. Vincent and the Grenadines receive?
  9. In March 2009, a U.S. naval vessel was conducting sea-bed surveys about 75 miles south of China's Hainan Island within China's exclusive economic zone. The Chinese navy adopted several harassment tactics. Are foreign naval survey activities permitted within a state's EEZ?


P. 310

  1. Please explain whether you agree or disagree with the Omegan fishermen's claims that they were fishing on the high seas and that their arrest on the high seas was illegal.
  2. [Assume for purposes of this sub-section only the conditions described in the textbook.] Please outline any defense you would expect the Omegan fishermen to raise at their trial in Zeta and explain whether or not you would expect these defenses to be successful.