Designing The Archipelagic Sea Lanes (ASL): The "Epilogue" of the Legal Development of Indonesia's Maritime Regime

Gilang Al Ghifari Lukman(1*)

(*) Corresponding Author


Throughout the past decades, the legal framework governing Indonesia’s maritime regime has experienced various changes. This is apparent during the enactment of the 1957 Djuanda Declaration and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) when the novel concept of archipelagic State was introduced. This paper reviewed the historical development of this concept up until the recent issue of designating archipelagic sea lanes (ASL) in Indonesia. Dubbing this issue as the epilogue of Indonesia’s journey towards archipelagic statehood, this paper focuses on (1) the importance of designating ASL for archipelagic States, (2) the kind of considerations that pose challenge to its designation and (3) how these challenges have particularly affected Indonesia’s reluctance to open ASL routes which are internationally sanctioned, particularly with regards to the East-West route. This paper found that such hardship stems from the lack of clarity in relevant UNCLOS clauses on archipelagic States as well as from the inherent rivalry between flag and coastal States. Security concerns have also been crucial in explaining Indonesia’s reluctance to fully abide by international demand. The paper ended with some possible pathways and policy recommendations that Indonesia may take with regards to its ASL regime.


Archipelagic, Sea, Lanes, Maritime, Indonesia, UNCLOS, Djuanda, Declaration, Route, Coastal, States, Flag, Designation

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