right to innocent passage in territorial sea


Hugo Grotius was the first person who came with the context of his thesis on the law of the sea in Mare Liberum in 1609. The principle of freedom of sea foundation lead by him. Two beliefs affect International law related to the sea.

The first notion says the sea belongs to every human present on the earth. 

So this belief bound the person to claim the ownership of the ocean. The resources present in Ocean belong to everyone present on the earth, and to every humankind, no one claims its rights.

The second belief Restraints the use of the sea because it causes conflicts among people as it contains enormous sources of resources.

The ocean always played an important role in human life, it also connects an important link between the Nations trade and exchange of major resources that have the word economy to push itself to another level it also provided the freedom to explore different parts of the world between parts of two Nations is discussed in the principle of innocent passage now that have been codified as the law of the sea convention.

United Nations Convention on the law of the sea (LOSC) helps the nation fulfill the gap between two Nations in the sea in the context of the resources present for economic and geographical development the United Nations Convention on the law of the sea has played a vital contribution to International Relation.


The rights to the innocent passage given by the difference in countries that every ship is allowed to move or do expedition between countries for or trade purpose or for any tour and travel between two Nations without any intervention of security or threat to the countries.

Innocent passage rights can be exercised or enjoyed by a particular country if it has a sovereign power on it by any nation due to lack of power over the particular nation the right cannot be exercised on the high sea. The main reason behind giving the right to innocent passage for communication between countries’ commerce and promotion of trade.

Several series of the convention, which help the law of the sea, become established the first conversation was held in 1930, which is known as the Hague Convention.

The second convention is followed in Geneva Conference in 1958 and next by UNCLOS 2nd in 1960 and in 1982 United Nations Convention on the law of the sea 3rd was held.

Now it is declared codified international law on the issue.


Convention provides certain exceptions in the context of the innocent passage under Article 19(2), which means that right under innocent passage does not create any serious and unavoidable threat to the coastal state, hence, if any threat or acceptable things happen in coastal areas the innocent passage will be no longer applicable.

Foreign fishing counted as innocent if they do not behave in the right manner and did not create and threat to the coastal areas. The ships and submarines passing through innocent passage should show their flag to the coastal state, and a ship carrying a nuclear weapon should be handled carefully and must provide a legal document for the carriage of their nuclear weapon. They should have to take necessary precautions according to their agreement in the law of the sea.

By not following the agreement of the convention would lead to conflicts between the states.


India is part of the United Nations Convention of the law of the sea 1982 besides this there are several other bodies governing coastal regions in India known as Continental shelf, exclusive economic zone (ECZ) terrace water, and Maritime Zones Act 1976 under section 4(1) of United Nations innocent passage act have the right to innocent passage within the boundaries of seas in India. It includes all foreign ships for trade and excludes underwater submarine warships, and other ships, which would create a threat to India and the rest of the foreign ships, enjoy the territorial sea boundaries of India.

Now talking about underwater submarines and warships, which can be under the water territory of India by checking the prior notice to the government, which will help navigate the ships by showing their flag which is mentioned under section 4(2) whereas showing the documents to the central government if they are satisfied that it is done with good faith and for the interest of peace and order for India’s security then the government may allow the warships to and territorial sea borders with the specified notification.


A long year back on June 2, 2001, the case is about two Korean countries, North Korea and South Korea. The three North Korean trade ships entered the water between the boundaries of south and North Korea and Cheju Island by seeing this South Korean Navy person want the North Korean ship not to enter their terrestrial water body they ask them to show their flag and take the prior permission before entering the water bodies but not Korean merchant ships refuse their warning and they passed from the water body between the southern and of Korea and Cheju Island. Regards people of North Korea Criticized for failing to expel the North Korean ships and many people also criticized the Navy for their area of use of force against North Korean ships.

The reason for traveling of North Korean ships in the Terrestrial boundary of South Korea was that it is the shortcut for them instead of traveling high sea. The shortcut also saves petrol and shorten their journey by one or two days as North Korea was facing several economic problems of fuel and long travel of their ships they took this route and given the reason that other ships also take this route for the trade as a Convention of United Nations innocent passage South Korea has given the path to the Terrestrial bodies to North Korea and an agreement was made that only trade or merchant related ships are allowed to the territorial bodies with the prior permission to the government and by showing their countries flag. This case shows that how important is United Nations innocent passage is.


At last, I want to conclude that the United Nations innocent passage 1982 plays an important role for the trade and travel benefits between the states so that anyone could not misuse the power of their Terrestrial boundaries and can maintain good relations between the countries and which help to grow their trade and for the development of their economy the countries which are part of the agreement of convention has to follow certain guidelines which are now codified and these rules are to be followed for all the countries who are come under United Nations innocent passage 1982. Till the time convention has been set up in many countries and is the part of this convention around the world.

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