San Diego Law Review


F. David Froman

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article examines the nature of the right of innocent passage for warships in a territorial sea. The author argues that, although a right of innocent passage for warships appears in the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea, the practices of many coastal States conflict with the Convention's provisions and cloud resolution of several central questions, such as who decides whether passage is innocent or non-innocent, by what criteria, and what sanctions exist. Drawing upon the Convention, coastal State legislation, and recent submarine intrusions of Swedish and Norwegian waters, the author concludes that modern notions of sovereignty, which foster suspicion and rivalry among nations, prompt such intrusions and impede acceptance of internationally formulated rules. The author further concludes that, even if the 1982 Convention fails to enter into force, it has inalterably shaped the law governing innocent and non-innocent passage of warships in the territorial sea.