DIIS (Danish Institute for International Studies) has published a paper by Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen and Tanja Aalberts, Sovereignty at Sea: The Law and Politics of Saving Lives in the Mare Liberum (DIIS Working Paper 2010:18).
The paper addresses “the complicated politics and law of ‘rescue at sea’, and the legal duty to render assistance to migrants in distress at sea that falls upon all sovereign states. Yet, exactly because this takes in international waters, the precise division and content of this sovereign responsibility remains contested and subject to varying interpretations. As a result, ‘the drowning migrant’ finds herself subject to an increasingly complex field of governance, in which participating states may successfully barter off and deconstruct responsibility by reference to traditional norms of sovereignty and international law. … The … paper was presented at the first international workshop in this framework titled ‘Sovereignty, Territory and Emerging Geopolitics’ held at DIIS, 3-4 May 2010.”
Click here for the Paper.