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The Torres Strait

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This is the twelfth book in the series "International Straits of the World", which seeks to describe the geography of a narrow waterway linking two seas and its relevance to shipping, economic development, and social welfare in the region, especially examining the legal status of the strait and its international relations. Of central importance to this study has been an account of the legal status of the Strait in the light of the 1982 UN Law of the Sea Convention, which not only prescribes limits to the territorial sea, an exclusive economic zone, and a continental shelf for coastal states, but also in Part III deals with rules for the transit of straits used for international navigation. The unusual demarcation of Australian territorial seas in certain islands, and the fisheries-deep seabed lines of jurisdiction have been described in detail. Finally this study treats the welfare of the islanders, a small distinct ethnic group, who have suffered, like other less developed communities, losses in land, culture, and independence through the rush of western civilization. Legal battles have been fought to secure Islander rights, and the author shows the importance of the Protected Zone, established by the Torres Strait Treaty, to Islander economic and environmental concerns. And he concludes that although some Islanders have called for an independent state, a more feasible arrangement for the Islanders with Australia might be a degree of self-determination as an external territory.
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Table of Contents

Foreword. Table of Maps and Figures. 1. Geography of the Torres Strait. 2. Historical Background of the Torres Strait. 3. Economic Characteristics of the Strait. 4. The International Law of Straits and the Torres Strait. 5. Legal Regime of the Torres Strait. 6. Environmental Issues in the Torres Strait. 7. Contemporary Issues: Self-Determination and the Islanders. Appendix A. Appendix B. Appendix C. Index.

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