The Regime of Straits in International Law

The Regime of Straits in International Law

The Regime of Straits in International Law

The Regime of Straits in International Law


Straits are peripheral formations in the study of geography, but have long been a source of controversy in international relations. They connect separate seas and divide the territory of states. This geographical fact invites legal disputes over international boundary drawing, request for passage by foreign ships, assertion of territorial control over the waters forming straits, and the basis for a regime generally accepted as law in our times. This is a thorough and well-documented book which combines elements of history, geography, international shipping, and the law of the sea. It asks the central question: what exactly is the current law governing this area, and also goes on to consider the concept of international straits, the distinction between existing treaty-based regimes and the general regime, and the special characteristics of straits that separate them from similar arms of the sea in terms of law. In answering these questions, the author takes us back to the first regime for international straits in 1949, through to the practices of the present day. This will be an invaluable text for all international lawyers, particularly those specializing in the law of sea.


The Oxford Monographs series already includes a number of significant contributions on important aspects of the law of the sea, among them the exclusive economic zone and the law of fisheries. Dr Jia's work on international straits provides a distinguished addition to the list.

In his treatment of a fairly sensitive subject-matter, the writer has paid particular attention to the practice of States. It is this characteristic, in combination with a full scholarly apparatus, and careful analysis, which will assure this study of an enduring place in the literature.

All Souls CollegeIAN BROWNLIE

Oxford 9th October 1997 . . .

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