Legal Challenges Surrounding Maritime Operations in the Mediterranean Sea: Focus on Migrant Flows

  • F. J. MarchalEmail author
  • J. E. D. Voetelink
Part of the NL ARMS book series (NLARMS)


Over time the nature of military and maritime operations has shifted from traditional warfare to hybrid type of operations including non-traditional forms of military action such as law enforcement activities. The changing character of operations also impacts the applicable legal framework making the conduct of these operations more challenging from an operator’s point of view. This article sheds light on the legal challenges that accompany the change in operations to migrant flow operations. A case in point are recent maritime operations focused on migrant flows conducted in de Mediterranean Sea, in particular the European Union mandated Operation Sophia, in which the Royal Netherlands Navy is involved, although not on a continuous basis.


Maritime operations Law of the Sea European Union EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia Refugee Law Rules of Engagement non-refoulement migrants 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser press and the authors 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Military SciencesNetherlands Defence AcademyBredaThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Amsterdam Centre of International Law (ACIL)BredaThe Netherlands

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