Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sealand: A Great Micronation

My obsession for today is micronations. A micronation is a country on little or no land that has little or no recognition from any other country. They often have flags and passports. Less frequently will they issue stamps and currency.

Sealand is a naval platform in the North Sea that was set up by the British Navy, which abandoned it in the 1960's. On September 2,1967, Paddy Roy Bates, a former British Army major occupied the platform with his family. After consulting with lawyers, he declared the platform to be an independent country. The British government became aware of his secession about a year later and attempted to prosecute him for crimes against the Crown. Amazingly, a British court decided that they had no jurisdiction, since the platform is located in international waters. In the following paragraph from the Sealand official website, this remarkable turn of events is described.

By late 1968, the British navy had become aware of the new situation off the coast of England. They were interested in terminating the state of affairs brought about by an error committed by the most senior military authorities without causing too much uproar.

Units of the navy entered the territorial waters claimed by Roy of Sealand. As he was aware of his sovereignty, Roy of Sealand threatened the navy by undertaking defensive activity. Shots were fired from Sealand in warning.

Since Roy of Sealand was still an English citizen, he was thus accused of extensive crimes in Britain and was summoned to an English court. The result of this lawsuit in Chelmsford, Essex was a spectacular success for Sealand's claim to sovereignty. In its judgment of 25 November 1968, the court declared that it was not competent in Roy of Sealand's case as it could not exert any jurisdiction outside of British national territory. This is the first de facto recognition of the Principality of Sealand. English law had ruled that Sealand was not part of the United Kingdom, nor did any other nation claim it, hence Prince Roy's declaration of a new Sovereign State was de facto upheld. .

Sealand is probably the most spectacular success in the history of micronations, having succeeded in defeating the United Kingdom in its own courts. What is refreshing is the apparent disinterest on the part of its founders in any sort of sinister use for their declared independence such as drugs or money laundry. It is currently up for sale at an asking price of 750,000,000 Euros.

Principality of Sealand

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the news for you re. occupation former principality of sealand under the link:

Report 1>
Report 2>

the facts in international acknowledgment