Encyclopedia of Public International Law in Asia Online

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General Editor: Seokwoo Lee

Incorporating the work of numerous leading scholars, the Encyclopedia of Public International Law in Asia Online provides a detailed description of the practice and implementation of international law in various Asian states. The Encyclopedia covers the introduction of Western international law and the resulting shift from the older Asian order; the development of modern international law; and the impact that all of this has had on Asian states. Each jurisdiction included in the Encyclopedia follows a standard structure for the broadest comparative advantage and starts with a Country Snapshot (Date of Independence, Date of Admission to the United Nations, Geographical Size, Population, Demographic Information, Form of Government, System of Law), followed by a State Report Overview (Executive summary of state report, Key highlights of unique state practice).

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15. Law of the Sea | Bangladesh

(8,982 words)

Author(s): Alam, Md. Khurshed | Haque, Muhammad Ekramul
15.1 The Territorial Water and Maritime Zones Act, 1974 and The Bangladesh Maritime Zones Act, 2019 (Draft Law)The ‘Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974 (hereinafter referred to as the Act, or the Act of 1974) was the first legislation to delimit maritime boundary and declare sovereign rights of Bangladesh over the living and non-living resources in the Territorial Waters of 12 nautical miles (nm) and Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nm. However, the Act confined our rights on the Contiguous Zone to 18 mile…

15. Law of the Sea | Central Asia

(921 words)

Author(s): Sayapin, Sergey
15.1 Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian SeaThe Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea was concluded at the Fifth Caspian Summit at Aktau (Kazakhstan) on 12 August 2018, on behalf of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan. The Convention resulted from the Parties’ negotiations held since 1996 with a view to “facilitat[ing] the development and strengthening of cooperation among the Parties, and prom…

15. Law of the Sea | China

(22,625 words)

Author(s): Hong, Nong | Geraci, Matt | Cooper, Asiana | Zhang, Yilun | Jin, Amanda Yue | Et al.
15.1 Law of the Sea in Historical Context and Interests in the Law of the Sea15.1.1 China’s Interests in the Law of the SeaChina ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on 15 May 1996 (National People’s Congress of China, Decision, May 15, 1996). China viewed UNCLOS as part of the establishment of a new international economic order and an important step toward the establishment of the new legal order for the oceans. This helps to explain why the PRC was one of the 119 states that signed U…

15. Law of the Sea | India

(4,991 words)

Author(s): Poothicote, George Pothan | Peters, Mary Sabina
15.1 India and United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)India became a Party to United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, on 29 June 1995. The UNCLOS, referred to as the “Constitution for the Oceans”, together with the related Agreements, represents a major achievement in codification and progressive development of international law. Being a country with a vast coastline and numerous islands, India has a long-standing and abiding interest in the maritime and ocean affairs, and a…

15. Law of the Sea | Indonesia

(9,313 words)

Author(s): Puspitawati, Dhiana | Sunyowati, Dina | Nurbiantoro, Gulardi
15.1 Accession to Various Treaties Affecting Law of the Sea, including UNCLOSUnited Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 or UNCLOS 1982 is one of the most comprehensive international conventions on the usage of the ocean. However, UNCLOS is silent on the matter related to the function of the sea as the means of transportation transferring goods across the ocean. Such matters fall within the scope of maritime laws, in which related international conventions were produced under the auspice of the In…

15. Law of the Sea | Iran

(4,621 words)

Author(s): Khoei, Peiman Hakimzadeh
15.1 Iranian Maritime Zones Act15.1.1 IntroductionThe Act Concerning the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Maritime areas in the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea, ratified on January 31, 1993, is the third and most comprehensive maritime law ratified in Iran. In addition to the above rules, in 1953, the Cabinet of Ministers at the time had a decree on the internal Iranian waters and territorial sea baseline, which was also approved by the parliament in 1993. This law aims to concentrate on the existing laws an…

15. Law of the Sea | Japan

(7,374 words)

Author(s): Nishimoto, Kentaro | Nishimura, Yumi
15.1 BaselinesThe baselines of Japan are established under the Act on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone (Act No. 30 of 1977). The current provisions were introduced in 1996 by the Act to Partially Amend the Act on the Territorial Sea (Act. No. 73 of 1996), which was enacted to implement the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) when it entered into force for Japan. The Act on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone provides that the baselines sha…

15. Law of the Sea | Korea

(3,401 words)

Author(s): Lee, Changyoul
15.1 Accession to Various Treaties Affecting Law of the Sea, including UNCLOS15.1.1 Republic of Korea’s Optional Exceptions under UNCLOSThe Republic of Korea has declared that it does not accept any one or more of the procedures provided for Part XV, Section 2 regarding the disputes referred to in Article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b), and (c) of the Convention on 18 April 2006. There are several reasons. The biggest reason why Republic of Korea needs to declare the optional exceptions is maritime conflict between Re…

15. Law of the Sea | Malaysia

(7,648 words)

Author(s): George, Mary | Abd Rahman, Faizah Nazri
15.1 Contribution to the Development of the Law of the Sea (including UNCLOS III)15.1.1 Maritime HistoryMalaysia’s maritime history is traced through the ancient state practice of the Malacca Sultanate and subsequent colonial state practice of the Portuguese, Dutch, and the English. The Maritime Code of Malacca of the Sultanate of Malacca was founded in 1400 ( The Maritime Code of the Malays as translated by Sir S. Stamford Raffles interpolated with notes by the Translator published in Asiatic Researcher (Vol. XII) 129; Maritime Code of Malacca, 29(3) Journal of the Malayan Branch…

15. Law of the Sea | Mongolia

(1,129 words)

Author(s): Jargalsaikhan, Enkhsaikhan
15.1 Mongolia’s Access to the Seas and OceansMongolia is a land-locked country situated in the heart of Central Asia. It is sandwiched between Russia and China and is the second-largest landlocked country with a population of 3.3 million with a territory of 1.565.000 km2. Due to political and economic factors, it has become a part of the Northeast Asian region. The nearest seaport is China’s Tianjin port, facing the Bohai Sea in East China, which is 1700 km from the capital city Ulaanbaatar and it is over 1000 km away from the south-east…

15. Law of the Sea | Philippines

(9,508 words)

Author(s): Benosa, Maria Emilynda Jeddahlyn Pia V. | Bagares, Romel Regalado | Espenilla, Jacqueline Joyce
15.1 Contribution of the Philippines to the Law of the SeaWhile the Philippines’ marked contribution to the development of the law of the sea remains to be in the formulation of the legal regime for archipelagic States during the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III, 1973–1982), its participation in efforts for the codification thereof date back to the first and second conferences in 1958 (UNCLOS I) and 1960 (UNCLOS II), respectively. Besides advocating positions that could ac…

15. Law of the Sea | Singapore

(5,821 words)

Author(s): Davenport, Tara
15.1 Singapore’s Contribution to the Development of the Law of the SeaFrom time immemorial, the law of the sea has always been critically important to Singapore. This body of principles governing the rights and obligations of states in the oceans has been instrumental in Singapore’s success as an international centre for trade and commerce from pre-colonial times to post-independence. Singapore has both benefited from fundamental law of the sea principles such as freedom of the seas as well as made signifi…

15. Law of the Sea | Sri Lanka

(5,781 words)

Author(s): Mendis, Nishara
15.1 Introduction: Sri Lanka and Law of the SeaSri Lanka is an island in the Indian Ocean, situated at a strategic geo-political location at the heart of the East-West sea routes connecting Europe, the Middle East and Africa with Asia and Australia. This location has meant that Sri Lanka’s ports have been significant trading ports since ancient times, with evidence of trade with China, India, North Africa, Arabia, Greece and the Roman Empire. Export of spices, elephants, gems and pearls as well as impor…

15. Law of the Sea | Taiwan

(7,825 words)

Author(s): Chen, Chen-Ju | Kao, Shih-Ming | Tsai, Chi-Ting | Wang, Kuan-Hsiung
15.1 Taiwan and Law on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous ZoneAnnounced on 21 January 1998, the Law on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone of the Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the Law) preserves the Republic of China (ROC)’s sovereignty over relevant territorial seas and rights over relevant contiguous zones. Likewise, the customary international law status of certain provisions – under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) – provides a legal basis for Taiwan …

15. Law of the Sea | Thailand

(3,420 words)

Author(s): Chinniyompanich, Aschara | Jaisomkom, Pitcha | Nakseeharach, Duangden | Santivasa, Saratoon | Limsira, Patthara
15.1 Thailand’s Entry into Conventions on the Law of the SeaUnited Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982: UNCLOS, which is recognized as the “Constitution for the Seas” lays down all basic principles of international law of the sea and regulates various maritime activities. The Convention provides for the powers, duties, and rights of all States as coastal States, maritime States, port States, and flag States in each maritime zone – internal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive econ…

15. Law of the Sea | Viet Nam

(4,933 words)

Author(s): Nguyen, Hong Thao
15.1 Viet Nam – Thailand Maritime DelimitationViet Nam and Thailand are on opposite sides of the Gulf of Thailand with a distance of 215 nautical miles (nm) from the Pointe of Ca Mau (Viet Nam) to the land point of Thailand-Malaysian boundary. An overlapping maritime area about 6500 km2 is created between them. Two parties applied the same principle of the median line for maritime delimitation but the basepoints were chosen in different manners.On 18 May 1973, Thailand unilaterally claimed the limit of its continental shelf in the Gulf. This was the median line measu…

7. Law of Treaties | Iran

(4,129 words)

Author(s): Fazaeli, Mostafa | Fatemi, Seyed Mohammad Seyed
7.1 Status of International Treaties in Iran’s Domestic Legal SystemStates have taken different approaches towards the position and status of international treaties in the hierarchy of their municipal legal rules and regulations. In Iran, the Constitution is silent in this respect. However, according to Article 9 of the Iranian Civil Code, 23 May 1928 (still valid and applicable as Civil Code of Islamic Republic of Iran), all treaties which are accepted by the Iranian Government (Islamic Republic of Iran…