Thursday, October 10, 2013


LAND AS A KEY TO TO THE CONCEPT OF TERRITORY to read the entire series so far in order of appearance click here:

File:Berner Iustitia.jpg   LAND:

 As noted earlier , territory can encompass land, water areas , subsea areas, and air space.  Land, however, is the key. Water, subsea, and air space territory are always described in terms of proximity to land territory. All forms of territory can be subject to servitudes. Servitudes, such as the right of innocent passage, are most common at sea and to a lesser extent in the air space.   International servitudes are least common but do occur on land.  International servitudes have been granted for railroads and even roads through sovereign territory. Land areas are the most common type of territory subject to lease. The conditions of a lease will vary with its length and purpose and the relationship between the contracting sovereigns.

 Some leases grant only a right of use and virtually no sovereign control.  Others grant near extra-territorial status and virtual soverign control over the lease area. The United States has a number of foreign naval bases under lease arrangement. The conditions of each lease vary. The personnel at these naval bases are the subjects of  Status of Forces Agreements.

 Status of Forces Agreements outline the jurisdictional regimeover foreign troops stationed on another sovereign's soil. Every U.S. officer stationed abroad should be familiar with the details of the Status of Forces agreement governing his unit. Naval and Coast Guard Senior and Master Chiefs are examined for knowledge of Status of Forces Agreements on their service -wide advancement exams. Any U.S. lawyer engaged for a cause of action involving a U.S. service member abroad should research the pertinent Status of Forces Agreement. This agreement may well determine which, if any foreign courts the service member has access to. This agreement can be a deciding factor even in domestic matters such as marriage, divorce, and inheritance. A basic familiarity with the local Status of Forces Agreement should be a requisite for even junior NCOs and Petty Officers. Such knowledge could prove vital to junior Petty Officers when on shore patrol. To naval and maritime legal professionals. Status of Forces Agreements are one of the most common concerns in the land based international law of territory.

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