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Sealand

Sealand is a sea fort which was abandoned by the uk government after world war 2. Sometime after this, a rich person came along and claimed it as a sovereign teritory, essentially, making it a privately owned small country.

having done further research, it becomes clear that the case for sealand's sovereignty is strong, but untested, and that there are various people putting out disinformation about sealand.

however the position of the foreign office on this issue does seem to be somewhat strange.

in most cases, they just refuse to comment, there has been one findable statement that they consider sealand to be part of the uk, but there have been numerous court cases, all of which seem to agree that sealand is outside uk national terratory.

as these cases cover things as diverse as firearms prosecutions (from various incidents), to national insurance and pension contributions, it does appear that the courts generally do find in favour of sealands position.

however there are a lot of things that are agreed upon.

specifically:

  1. the uk did abandon the fort.
  2. having abandoned it, roy was perfectly within the law to accupy it.
  3. having done so, it was within the law at the time to declare independence. (they have since changed the rules so it can't happen again).
  4. the extension of britain's terratorial waters does not have any legal bearing on the case at all. because sealand had declared itself sovereign before the extension, it's extension of it's own waters to the same size the day before specifically rules out this option in any legal cases.
  5. There have been a number of court cases with the conclusion that it is outside the uk national jurisdiction. I can't find any which came to a different conclusion.
  6. some of the uk decisions and actions, and those of germany could be viewed as de facto recognition of that sovereignty.
  7. It seems clear that the situation occured due to a number of bad decisions by the uk government's representatives.
  8. most of the clauses used to declare sovereignty have since been closed, making it much harder to do in future.
  9. there is lots of opinion about it, often conflicting.

last modified 02:03 2004/06/27