Understanding Maritime Borders

The Law of the Sea Convention provides principles for international borders at sea and delineates maritime zones and regulations. The International Court of Justice holds tribunals to examine maritime sovereignty disputes. The United States Supreme Court has articulated the government’s rights to control its borders in several cases, and Congress has granted authority to agencies such as the Coast Guard to conduct routine searches of people and their belongings at borders, without requiring reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or warrants. Border enforcement agents are authorized to conduct searches beyond the physical border. Among the Coast Guard’s missions are law enforcement for drugs and immigration, as well as protecting national security.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01531996
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 24 2014 5:53PM