International water is something that most people are not going to be around or are not going to be going through in their lifetime. It is easier to outline laws that have to do with dry land as the boundaries are easier to define and keep separate. When it comes to the water however things can be a bit harder to understand and a bit harder to define.
What are International Water Laws?
It is best to first consider why you might need international water laws. In most cases, the international waters do not begin until 12 nautical miles away from the baseline or the shoreline of any particular landmass. This means that the water up to 12 nautical miles from any shore belongs in name to the country to which the shore belongs. This helps to define what waters other ships and other countries can legally be in before an issue is created.
After 12 nautical miles from the shore, the international waters begin. This is to make sure that the waters that are far away from the shore are governed properly and that no one country can lay claim to an entire sea. International waters make it possible for the ocean to be properly governed. Specific laws are put into effect to make sure that everyone knows how to act and how to conduct themselves within international waters.
International water laws are put into effect to encourage others to act civilly when they are on the high seas. These laws include things like you cannot attack other ships, it governs what can be disposed of on the water, it relates to what can be taken from the water, and more. These laws are all put into effect to help make sense of this boundary that is a bit harder to define than those boundaries that are put into effect on the land.
Why Do We Have International Water Laws?
These laws are put into effect to help determine what happens when something legal needs to be taken care of when a person or persons are not on dry land where specific laws of that region can be taken into account. A great example might be a cruise ship. Cruise ships often sail through international water and they often do have legal issues on board. In this case, the country from which the ship sailed and the flag under which the ship sails determines what laws are followed to resolve legal issues while in international waters.
This helps to ensure that you are not going to have to follow different laws for each country that you pass through. International waters are going to be everywhere and as such, laws are required to help govern those areas. International water laws are just a baseline that really does help to determine what is going to happen when something happens on the high seas or when ships are far from the coast or from the area that they were sailing from.
Who Follows International Water Laws?
Every country is required to follow international water laws. They are required to follow these laws to help keep law and order and to help make certain that things do not get too out of hand on the high seas. These laws are set forth by a range of countries and are all agreed upon by those countries rather than one country setting the rules and requiring that everyone else follow. These are set forth to help make sure that everyone is on the same page and everyone knows how to act and how to behave.