Maritime Security Law
With the development of the international law of the sea, coastal state maritime security has gained in prominence as an array of maritime zones have been proclaimed and new sovereign rights and jurisdiction asserted over maritime areas.
With the development of the United Nations Charter in 1945 there has been an ever increasing maritime security dimension to the concerns and response of the Security Council, especially when acting under Chapter VII. This has especially been reflected in numerous Security Council Resolutions mandating naval operations, and more generally military operations to maintain international peace and security. UN-mandated naval operations were especially significant in the sanctions regime imposed against Iraq (1990-2003) during which time extensive state practice developed in this field. Since then the Security Council has also mandated member states to conduct military operations at sea to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism, and piracy.
Some of the recent developments that have taken place in response to piracy off the coast of Somalia have been the most significant in the past century. These events have shone the spotlight back on maritime security and have emphasised the importance of this distinctive branch of international law.