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Course on the Law of the Sea in the Caribbean

Barbados, 22 February 2021. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for Central America and the Caribbean (UNODC ROPAN), through the Global Programme for Maritime Crimes, is conducting a four-week course on law of the sea, with the participation of 8 prosecutors from the Caribbean Prosecutors Network from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Bahamas, Grenada, Suriname, Barbados, Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Among the topics addressed in this training are jurisdiction, maritime zones, enforcement powers and boarding.

The objective of these training sessions is to address the contents of the document "Maritime Crime: A Manual for Criminal Justice Practitioners", which contains topics such as Maritime Law Enforcement; Human Rights in the Maritime Domain; Search and Seizure and Search and Seizure Operations; and Search and Seizure of Evidence at Sea.

The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is the cornerstone governing the comprehensive legal regime governing human conduct in the oceans, as there are many treaties and rules of customary international law applicable to human activities at sea.

Therefore, this Convention, together with customary international law, governs the actions of people in the maritime environment.

It is essential for maritime law enforcement agencies to be aware of the laws that their respective States have enacted to make international law applicable in their maritime zones, to State persons and vessels, and, in some circumstances, to vessels without nationality, so that the State can enforce maritime law rules and prosecute those responsible for violating them.

This handbook examines the legal considerations with regard to maritime law enforcement. It is clarified that it does not address the issue of the use of force in relation to disputed maritime law claims, the law of armed conflict or other national defense operations.