high seas

n.
open ocean waters outside the territorial limits of any single nation

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In maritime law, the waters lying outside the territorial waters of any and all states.

In the Middle Ages, a number of maritime states asserted sovereignty over large portions of the high seas. The doctrine that the high seas in time of peace are open to all nations was first proposed by Hugo Grotius (1609), but it did not become an accepted principle of international law until the 19th century. Activities permitted on the high seas include navigation, fishing, the laying of submarine cables and pipelines, and overflight of aircraft.

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      in maritime law, all parts of the mass of saltwater surrounding the globe that are not part of the territorial sea or internal waters of a state. For several centuries beginning in the European Middle Ages, a number of maritime states asserted sovereignty over large portions of the high seas. Well-known examples were the claims of Genoa in the Mediterranean and of Great Britain in the North Sea and elsewhere.

      The doctrine that the high seas in time of peace are open to all nations and may not be subjected to national sovereignty (freedom of the seas) was proposed by the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius (Grotius, Hugo) as early as 1609. It did not become an accepted principle of international law, however, until the 19th century. Freedom of the seas was ideologically connected with other 19th-century freedoms, particularly laissez-faire economic theory, and was vigorously pressed by the great maritime and commercial powers, especially Great Britain. Freedom of the high seas is now recognized to include freedom of navigation, fishing, the laying of submarine cables and pipelines, and overflight of aircraft.

      By the second half of the 20th century, demands by some coastal states for increased security and customs zones, for exclusive offshore-fishing rights, for conservation of maritime resources, and for exploitation of resources, especially oil, found in continental shelves caused serious conflicts. The first United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, meeting at Geneva in 1958, sought to codify the law of the high seas but was unable to resolve many issues, notably the maximum permissible breadth of the territorial sea subject to national sovereignty. A second conference (Geneva, 1960) also failed to resolve this point; and a third conference began in Caracas in 1973, later convening in Geneva and New York City.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • high seas — plural noun The open ocean • • • Main Entry: ↑high * * * high seas, the open ocean. The high seas are outside the authority of any country. * * * plural n. the high seas the open ocean, esp. that not within any country s jurisdiction * * * noun… …   Useful english dictionary

  • high seas — all parts of the sea that are not included in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a state (Geneva Convention on the High Seas 1958). The territorial sea was fixed as not exceeding 12 nautical miles by the 1982 Convention on the Law… …   Law dictionary

  • high seas — ˌhigh ˈseas noun [plural] the areas of ocean that do not belong to any particular country: • the need to establish regional organizations which would regulate fishing on the high seas and settle disputes compare territorial waters …   Financial and business terms

  • High seas — High High, a. [Compar. {Higher}; superl. {Highest}.] [OE. high, hegh, hey, heh, AS. he[ a]h, h?h; akin to OS. h?h, OFries. hag, hach, D. hoog, OHG. h?h, G. hoch, Icel. h?r, Sw. h[ o]g, Dan. h[ o]i, Goth. hauhs, and to Icel. haugr mound, G. h[… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • high seas — n the high seas literary the areas of ocean around the world that do not belong to any particular country …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • high seas — ► PLURAL NOUN (the high seas) ▪ the open ocean, especially that not within any country s jurisdiction …   English terms dictionary

  • high seas — n. open ocean waters outside the territorial limits of any single nation …   English World dictionary

  • high seas — {n. phr.} The open ocean, not the waters near the coast. * /It was a big powerful liner built to sail on the high seas./ * /The ships of every country have the right to sail on the high seas./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • high\ seas — n. phr. the open ocean, not the waters near the coast. It was a big powerful liner built to sail on the high seas. The ships of every country have the right to sail on the high seas …   Словарь американских идиом

  • high seas — N PLURAL: the N The high seas is used to refer to the sea. [LITERARY] It was a time of battles on the high seas, pirates and hidden treasure …   English dictionary

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