• The First United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS I) from February 24 until April 29, 1958. UNCLOS I adopted the four conventions, which are commonly known as the 1958 Geneva Conventions:• The Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone;• The Convention on the High Seas;• The Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas; and• The Convention on the Continental Shelf.While considered to be a step forward, the conventions did not establish a maximum breadth of the territorial sea.
• The CTS entered into force on 10 September 1964; the CHS on 30 September 1962; the CFCLR on 20 March 1966; the CCS on 10 June 1964;• . States bound by the Conventions and the Protocol, are, as at 23 July 2008, respectively: for the CTS, 52; for the CHS, 63; for the CFCLR, 38; for the CCS, 58.
• The CTS sets out in detailed provisions the main rules on the territorial sea and the contiguous zone. Its rules address, in particular, baselines, bays, delimitation between States whose coasts are adjacent or face each other, innocent passage and the contiguous zone.
• Art 2 of UNCLOS 1982, he sovereignty of a coastal State extends, beyond its land territory and internal waters.• Art. 3 of UNCLOS 1982 every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention• Art. 5 The normal baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea is the low-water line along the coast as marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by the coastal State. Meanwhile art. 7 covers about straight baseline.
Contiguous zone• refers to that part of the sea which is beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea of the coastal zone.• Art 33 of UNCLOS 1982, in a zone contiguous to its territorial sea the coastal state may exercise the control:• prevent infringement of its custom, fiscal, immigration or sanitary regulations within its territorial sea• punish infringement of the above laws and regulations committed within its territory or territorial sea.• The contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24 nautical miles from. The baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured
• The CHS defines the high seas as all parts of the sea not included in the territorial sea and internal waters. It deals specifically with:• ARTICLE 1• The term "high seas" means all parts of the sea that are not included in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of a State.• ARTICLE 2• (1) Freedom of navigation;• (2) Freedom of fishing;• (3) Freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines;• (4) Freedom to fly over the high seas.• These freedoms, and others which are recognized by the general principles of international law, shall be exercised by all States with reasonable regard to the interests of other States in their exercise of the freedom of the high seas.
• The CFCLR sets out principles and mechanisms for the rational management of fisheries in the high seas. It insists on cooperation between States engaged in the same fisheries, it recognizes the special interest of the coastal State when the fisheries are in the high seas adjacent to its territorial sea and provides for compulsory settlement of disputes concerning all the key rules.• Some of the provisions are similar to those that were to be adopted in 1995 in the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement
• At the time, the CFCLR was very controversial, as is evidenced from the low number of ratifications and accessions: on one hand, many States were keen on developing exclusive fishery rights beyond the territorial sea – a regime for fisheries on the high seas beyond the external limit of the territorial sea was not satisfactory; on the other hand, the central role given to the compulsory settlement of disputes was something that States were not ready for at the time.
Continental shelf• The United Nations Convention on the Continental Shelf (the Convention) was agreed to in Geneva on the 29 April 1958 and entered into force on 10 June 1964. The Convention relates to rights of states to explore and exploit natural resources of the continental shelf. The 1858 Convention was largely superceded by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.• Detailed Information:• In Article 1 of the Convention the term continental shelf is used to refer: (a) to the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas adjacent to the coast but outside the area of the territorial sea, to a depth of 200 metres or, beyond that limit, to where the depth of the superjacent waters admits of the exploitation of the natural resources of the said areas; (b) to the seabed and subsoil of similar submarine areas adjacent to the coasts of islands. By Article 2, coastal states can exercise their sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting the natural resources of the continental shelf.
• ARTICLE 5• 1. Each State shall fix the conditions for the grant of its nationality to ships, for the registration of ships in its territory, and for the right to fly its flag. Ships have the nationality of the State whose flag they are entitled to fly. There must exist a genuine link between the State and the ship; in particular, the State must effectively exercise its jurisdiction and control in administrative, technical and social matters over ships flying its flag.• 2. Each State shall issue to ships to which it has granted the right to fly its flag documents to that effect.• Article 6 provides for the situation where the same continental shelf is shared by two or more states whose coasts are opposite or adjacent to each other. Article 6 states: 1. Where the same continental shelf is adjacent to the territories of two or more States whose coasts are opposite each other, the boundary of the continental shelf appertaining to such States shall be determined by agreement between them. In the absence of agreement, and unless another boundary line is justified by special circumstances, the boundary is the median line, every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points of the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea of each State is measured.
• The CCS sets out rules on the notion, limits and regime of the continental shelf. The basic concept of the sovereign right of the coastal State as regards resources of an area of the seabed beyond the external limit of the territorial sea had emerged in State practice only since 1945.• It has been rightly said that the Convention “crystallizes” a relatively quick process of formation of a customary rule, which also includes the notion that the rights of the coastal State over the shelf do not require occupation or express proclamation.
• The provision on the external limit, based on the 200 meters isobath and on exploitability, was to be seen as obsolete in light of technological progress and was radically modified in the 1982 Convention. The rule on delimitation, based on the equidistance plus special circumstances concept.
When Malaysia become a party• Malaysia participated throughout the negotiations of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of The Sea.• When the new Convention on the Law of The Sea was open for signature at Montego Bay, Jamaica on 10 December1982, Malaysia signed it on that day.• On 14th October 1996, Malaysia ratified the UNCLOS 1982 and has become state party to the convention.