you're reading...

A ‘Rules-Based’ Approach to Airspace Defense: A U.S. Perspective on the International Law of the Sea and Airspace, Air Defense Measures, and the Freedom of Navigation

Author: Jonathan G. Odom – Government of the United States of America – U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps

Belgian Review of International Law Vol. 1, 2014


In light of recent international developments, such as the People’s Republic of China’s declaration of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea and the intercepts of military aircraft in international airspace adjacent to the nations of Europe, this article seeks to advance legal discussion and provide an updated perspective on the applicable international law of the sea and airspace, air defense measures, and the freedom of navigation. First, it examines the inherent differences between national airspace and international airspace. Second, it discusses the air defense measure known as ADIZ. Third, it discusses the air defense measure known as aircraft intercepts. Fourth, it discusses the freedom of navigation, and discusses ways in which the air defense measures of ADIZs and aircraft intercepts can be employed in a manner consistent with the freedom of navigation. By highlighting applicable U.S. laws, regulations, policy directives, and press releases, this article seeks to provide an example of effectively balancing security and freedom in a manner that is fully consistent with international law. In the end, this article concludes that air defense measures established and implemented by a nation may be lawful under international law, but only if the nation follows a “rules-based approach,” in which it conforms those measures to the applicable body of international law and respects the freedom of navigation enjoyed by other nations.
Download the full paper at Jonathan Odom_A Rules Based Approach to Airspace Defense [PDF]



No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow South China Sea on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 145 other followers

%d bloggers like this: