Soundings Papers: Current and Future Legal Implications Regarding the Use of Military Drones Across Maritime Boundaries

Soundings No. 45
Soundings No. 45

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Oscar McLoughlin

As a wealthy island state, Australia has a vital interest in good order at sea. While the Law of the Sea traditionally facilitates this order, the advent of the drone appears to unsettle this characterisation. International law’s silence on the classification of drones and their use across military boundaries, particularly in hot pursuit, threatens to challenge the way states operate in the seas. Without law reform, navies around the world will continue to operate with hesitancy and/or incur unnecessary risks in deploying drones.