Threats from the Global Commons: Problems of Jurisdiction and Enforcement
14 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2007
This commentary considers a number of potential threats to security originating from the global commons. While direct attacks on a state from vessels and aircraft passing through the global commons constitute such threats, this paper focuses upon challenges posed by possible action against maritime activity occurring outside the territorial sea and national airspace. In this context, there are vulnerabilities surrounding a variety of activities in the global commons. These include threats to international maritime trade and fisheries, possible attacks on offshore oil and gas installations, and interference with pipelines and submarine cables. There are significant limitations on the ability of a coastal state to respond within international law. This commentary considers the nature of jurisdiction beyond the territorial sea, and investigates what protective and responsive actions are available to states. It concludes by considering current international developments which provide for cooperation in intelligence, surveillance and interdiction, and greater use of port state control to circumvent these jurisdictional limitations.
Keywords: enforcement, jurisdiction, security, global commons
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation