International legal experts stated that ensuring international maritime safety is the collective responsibility of all countries while pointing out that international law criminalises any actions that negatively affect sea travel through straits, seas and oceans, and causes harm to individuals and groups.
Dr. Mohamed Hassan, Dean of the Law School at UAE University, UAEU, and international law specialist, said that protecting maritime navigation and guaranteeing freedom of movement for ships is the responsibility of the international community.
He also referred to the difference between territorial waters, marine economic zones and international waters, noting that territorial waters are located 12 nautical miles from the coast of a country, which has sovereign rights to the area, including control of fishing, navigation and shipping.
Economic waters are located 200 nautical miles from the coast of a country, which can utilise all maritime resources in the area and protect its ships while international waters are located over 200 nautical miles from the coast, and all countries have equal rights to the area, he added in a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, All countries also have the legal right to investigate accidents and attacks within its regional or economic waters, as well as to ask relevant international authorities to undertake the necessary procedures, Dr. Hassan further added while confirming that countries are entitled to take legal action according to international law if their ships are attacked, regardless of the location of the incident.
Dr. Mohamed Al Moussa, Assisting International Law Professor at the Law School of UAEU, pointed out that international law guarantees the freedom and safety of maritime navigation and punishes violators and attacking commercial ships is a crime according to international law.