Australia Awards in Indonesia

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19 Feb 2016

An Analysis of Legal Issues Relating to Navigational Rights and Freedoms through and Over Indonesian Waters

Kresno Buntoro, May 2010
University of Wollongong

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) provides a delicate balance between the interests of archipelagic States such as Indonesia and the international community with respect to navigation. Indonesia recognises three navigation rights and freedoms within Indonesian waters: innocent passage, transit passage and archipelagic sea lanes passage. In addition, Indonesia and Malaysia have negotiated an additional passage right not mentioned in the LOSC called access and communication passage.

The vagueness and ambiguity of the LOSC provisions on navigational rights and freedoms, as well as the absence of further guidance on their interpretation and implementation, have resulted in conflicting claims between Indonesia on one hand and the international community on the other.

This thesis aims to provide an analysis of the legal issues relating to navigation through and over Indonesian waters. In particular, it aims to examine inconsistencies between Indonesian navigational regimes and those permitted by the LOSC to ascertain if Indonesia has applied the LOSC correctly and, if necessary, to propose reforms to harmonise national legislation with international law. Specifically, the thesis will first, explain the extent, historical development and concept of navigational regimes in the LOSC and international law in general. Second, it will analyse the implementation of the navigational provisions of the LOSC by Indonesia. Finally, it will provide recommendations concerning the harmonisation of the Indonesian domestic legal framework with international law.

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