Year

2007

Degree Name

Master of Maritime Studies, Research

Department

Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security - Faculty of Law

Abstract

The high volume of traffic passing through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore continuously exposes the Straits to the problem of vessel-source pollution, particularly oil pollution. As a strait used for international navigation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (LOSC 1982), regulation of vessel-source pollution by the littoral States are confined within the provisions of the LOSC 1982.

The thesis examines the provisions of the LOSC 1982 with regard to the prescriptive and enforcement powers of strait States to address vessel-source pollution in straits used for international navigation. As a case study, the thesis analyses the Malaysian domestic legislative framework to implement the relevant LOSC 1982 provisions in the Malaysian part of the Strait of Malacca. The thesis also examines the existing cooperative arrangements in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore pursued under the provisions of the LOSC 1982 and the extent to which they address vessel-source pollution in the Straits.

The thesis concludes that strait States are granted by the LOSC 1982, very limited prescriptive and enforcement jurisdiction to regulate vessel-source pollution in straits used for international navigation. In the context of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, the thesis establishes the gaps in Malaysia’s implementation of the provisions of the LOSC 1982 in the Malaysian part of the Strait of Malacca. The thesis also establishes that cooperation has yet to fully materialise in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and even where it is pursued, focus is on navigational safety issues rather than the problem of vessel-source pollution in the Straits.

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