Innocent passage

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Innocent passage is a concept in the law of the sea that allows for a vessel to pass through the territorial waters of another state, subject to certain restrictions. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea defines innocent passage as:[1]

Passage is innocent so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State. Such passage shall take place in conformity with this Convention and with other rules of international law.

Innocent passage concedes the coastal country's territorial sea claim, unlike freedom of navigation, which directly contests it.[2][3]

The law was codified in 1958 and affirmed in 1982.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UN CLS, Part II
  2. ^ Bosco, Joseph A. "Are Freedom of Navigation Operations and Innocent Passage Really the Same?". The Diplomat. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
  3. ^ "U.S. destroyer challenges China's claims in South China Sea". Reuters. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  4. ^ Rothwell, Donald R.; Bateman, W. S. Walter Samuel Grono (2000-11-14). Navigational Rights and Freedoms, and the New Law of the Sea. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 9041114998.
  5. ^ Dupuy, René Jean; Vignes, Daniel (1991-10-16). A handbook on the new law of the sea. 2 (1991). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 0792310632.

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