enjoys nationality in. So this idea of the exclusive jurisdiction of the flag-state isfirmly entrenched in universal customary international law, but also in treaty law. Itis found in Article 6 of the High Seas Convention, to which Israel is a party, and alsoin the later United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which there are 160state parties or more. That principle knows only a finite number of exceptions. Thosefound in Article 22 of the High Seas Convention are that a foreign government mayboard a vessel on the high seas if it suspected of being engaged in piracy, beingengaged in the slave trade or despite displaying no flag or national markings, beingof the same nationality as the intercepting warship. Or perhaps being a statelessvessel, a vessel without nationality.Now none of those would, on their face, appear to apply here, and I think that isbehind some of the comments we have certainly heard. However that is the law of peace. In times of armed conflict a separate law applies, the law of naval warfare. Itdisplaces those ordinary principles, or at least it has the potential to, perhaps even if you were not a party to the armed conflict in question. However if you lack any legalright under the law of armed conflict to intercept a vessel, then in my view the lawsof peace come back into play and we start talking about these concepts again.So that is a very general sketch of the freedom of the high seas, but the point I wantto emphasise is if you have a valid claim under the laws of war, then what I havetalked about does not necessarily apply. On that point I think it is best to pass overto Iain.
Professor Iain Scobbie
: Douglas is correct in saying that the law of armed conflictat sea has really been ignored to a great extent since World War II. It’s really also avery archaic area which very few people look at nowadays. One of the bits theydefinitely don’t look at is the question of neutrality, which is principally associatedwith war at sea, as the aim of neutrality is to restrict the spread of the conflict.If we’re looking at the situation which recently occurred, the legal framework fromlocate and interception can only be the law of armed conflict maritime, not a lawenforcement one. I think this is demonstrated by Israel’s reliance on a documentcalled the San Remo Manual. The San Remo Manual is primarily meant to indicatethe rules that are relevant during an international armed conflict at sea. It is adocument that was produced by a private body, the International Institute forHumanitarian Law, which is based in San Remo. It therefore is not a document towhich states have signed up. Having said that though, it is seen as veryauthoritative.If you look at the UK Manual on Armed Conflict, its section on the law of war at seadraws extensively on the San Remo Manual. However it also indicates that the SanRemo Manual is not comprehensive. There are some gaps in it. So in order to fillthese gaps in the San Remo Manual we’ve really got to other earlier instruments.Instruments such as the 1909 London Protocol on the Law of War at Sea, and the1939 Harvard Draft Convention on the Rights and Duties of Neutrals at Sea.For a number of years, Israel has claimed that it is in a state of armed conflict withHamas, and it has been very ambiguous about the nature of this armed conflict. In