Restrictions on the use of force at sea: An environmental protection perspective

25 September 2017 Shiyan Sun, Jinxing Ma

The restrictions on the use of force at sea exist in different branches of international law: the law of the sea and environmental law, mainly applicable during peacetime, and international humanitarian law (IHL), as the law applicable in times of armed conflict. Different rules from these areas must be compared and analyzed to determine the common principles applicable to restricting the use of force at sea for the purposes of environmental protection. Taking into account the particular problems of protecting the marine environment in the context of the use of force, the law of the sea and international environmental law should be applied to restrict means and methods of using force at sea during armed conflict. The detailed concepts and approaches in the law of the sea and environmental law may complement IHL, and the precautionary principle of international environmental law should be triggered to address the lacunae in IHL protecting the marine environmental during armed conflict.

About the authors

Shiyan Sun
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Shiyan Sun is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of International Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Jinxing Ma
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Jinxing Ma is an Assistant Researcher and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of International Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.