The Republic of Sealand
(From Wikipedia. Please note that the article displayed on that site features
content which the Republic disputes. We are working to correct this problem.
The content below is the official history of Sealand.)
The Republic of Sealand is an unrecognised entity, located on HM Fort Roughs,
a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea 10 km (six miles) off the
coast of Suffolk, England (51°53'40"N, 1°28'57"E).
From 1967 until early 2011, the facility has been occupied by the former
British Major Paddy Roy Bates; his associates and family claimed that it was an
independent sovereign state Since February 2011, the former government was
internationally ruled as illegitimate and the Republic of Sealand, a democracy,
was established. External commentators generally classify Sealand as a
micronation rather than an unrecognised state. While it has been described as
the world's smallest nation, Sealand is not currently officially recognised as a
sovereign state by any sovereign state. Although Roy Bates claims it is de facto
recognised by Germany as they have sent a diplomat to the micronation, and by
the United Kingdom after an English court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over
Sealand, neither action constitutes de jure recognition as far as the respective
countries are concerned. The Government of the former Principality of Sealand
was internationally recognised as illegitimate in February of 2011, when the
Republic of Sealand was established. It is the only legitimate governing
authority of Sealand today.
•1 History o1.1 History of HM Fort Roughs o1.2 Occupation by Roy Bates and the establishment of Sealand •2 Post-1990 History •3 Government and politics o3.1 Legal status o3.2 The State •4 Economy o4.1 Sealand Citizenship o4.2 HavenCo •5 Sports •6 See also •7 Notes •8 References •9 External links
In 1943, during World War II, HM Fort Roughs was constructed by the
United Kingdom as one of the Maunsell Forts, primarily for defence against
German mine-laying aircraft that might be targeting the estuaries that were part
of vital shipping lanes. It comprised a floating pontoon base with a superstructure
of two hollow towers joined by a deck upon which other structures could be added.
The fort was towed to a position above the Rough Sands sandbar, where its base was
deliberately flooded to allow it to sink to its final resting place on the sandbar.
The location chosen was approximately six miles from the coast of Suffolk, outside
the then three-mile territorial water claim of the United Kingdom and therefore in
international waters. The facility (called Roughs Tower or HM Fort Roughs) was
occupied by 150–300 Royal Navy personnel throughout World War II; not until
well after the war, in 1956, were the last full-time personnel taken off HM Fort
Occupation by Roy Bates and the establishment of Sealand
On 2 September 1967, the fort was occupied by Major Paddy Roy Bates, a British
subject and pirate radio broadcaster, who ejected a competing group of pirate
broadcasters.Bates intended to broadcast his pirate radio station Radio Essex
from the platform.
In 1968, British workmen entered what Bates claimed to be his territorial waters
in order to service a navigational buoy near the platform. Michael Bates (son of
Paddy Roy Bates) tried to scare the workmen off by firing warning shots from the
former fort. As Bates was a British subject at the time, he was summoned to court
in England on firearms charges following the incident.But the court ruled that as
the platform (which Bates was now calling "Sealand") was outside British
jurisdiction, being beyond the then three-mile limit of the country's waters,
the case could not proceed. In 1975, Bates introduced a constitution for Sealand,
followed by a flag, a national anthem, a currency and passports.
In August 1978, while Bates and his wife were in England, Alexander Achenbach,
who described himself as the Prime Minister of Sealand, hired several German and
Dutch mercenaries to spearhead an attack of Roughs Tower. They stormed the
tower with speedboats and helicopters, and took Bates' son hostage. Bates was able
to retake the tower and capture Achenbach and the mercenaries. Achenbach, a
German lawyer who held a Sealand passport, was charged with treason against
Sealand and was held unless he paid DM 75,000 (more than US$ 35,000 or
£23,000). The governments of the Netherlands, Austria and Germany petitioned
the British government for his release, but the United Kingdom disavowed his
imprisonment, citing the 1968 court decision. Germany then sent a diplomat from
its London embassy to Roughs Tower to negotiate for Achenbach's release. Roy
Bates relented after several weeks of negotiations and subsequently claimed that
the diplomat's visit constituted de facto recognition of Sealand by Germany.
•1997: Because of the massive quantity of illegal passports in circulation
(estimated at 150,000), the Bates family revoked all Sealand passports,
including those that they themselves had issued over the previous twenty-two
•2006: On the afternoon of 23 June 2006, the top platform of the Roughs
Tower caught fire due to an electrical failure. A Royal Air Force rescue helicopter
transferred one person to Ipswich hospital, directly from the tower. The Harwich
lifeboat stood by the Roughs Tower until a local fire tug extinguished the fire.
All damage was repaired by November 2006.
•In January 2007, The Pirate Bay attempted to buy Sealand after harsher
copyright measures in Sweden forced them to look for a base of operations
elsewhere. The deal fell through.
•2007: Sealand was offered for sale through Spanish estate company
InmoNaranja. Since a principality cannot technically be sold, Sealand's
current owners plan to transfer "custodianship". The asking price pre-Republic
was €750 million (£600 million). Plans for an online casino were
•2011: The Government of the former Principality of Sealand was
internationally recognised as illegitimate in February of 2011, when the Republic
of Sealand was established. It is the only legitimate governing authority of
Government and politics
A parliament, as per the constitution of Sealand, shall be elected and established in 2011.
The claim that Sealand is an independent sovereign state is based on the contention that
a 1968 decision of an English court, in which it was held that Roughs Tower was in
international waters and thus outside the jurisdiction of the domestic courts, is a further
de facto recognition of Sealand's sovereignty.
In international law, the two most common schools of thought for the creation of
statehood are the constitutive and declaratory theories of state creation. The
constitutive theory was the standard nineteenth-century model of statehood,
and the declaratory theory was developed in the twentieth century to address
shortcomings of the constitutive theory. In the constitutive theory, a state exists
exclusively via recognition by other states. The theory splits on whether this
recognition requires "diplomatic recognition" or merely "recognition of existence".
No other state grants Sealand official recognition, but it has been argued by Bates
that negotiations carried out by Germany constituted "recognition of existence".
In the declaratory theory of statehood, an entity becomes a state as soon as
it meets the minimal criteria for statehood. Therefore recognition by other states
is purely "declaratory".
In 1987, the UK extended its territorial waters from three to twelve miles.
Sealand now sits inside waters that Britain claims as its territory.
According to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, there is no
transitional law and no possibility to consent to the existence of a construction
which was previously approved or built by a neighbouring state. This means that
artificial islands may no longer be constructed and then claimed as sovereign
states, or as state territories, for the purposes of extension of an exclusive
economic zone or of territorial waters. However, Sealand was founded in 1967
and "lex retro non agit" – laws cannot affect actions taken before
these laws were written, before 1982 in this particular case.
Irrespective of its legal status, the former Principality of Sealand was managed by
the Bates family as if it were a recognised sovereign entity, and they are its
hereditary royal rulers. Roy Bates styled himself "Prince Roy" and his wife
"Princess Joan". Their son was known as "His Royal Highness Prince Michael" and
has been referred to as the "Prince Regent" by the Bates family since 1999.
In this role, he apparently served as Sealand's acting "Head of State" and also its
"Head of Government". At a micronations conference hosted by the
University of Sunderland in 2004, Sealand was represented by Michael Bates' son
James, who was referred to as "Prince Royal James." The facility was occupied
by one or more caretakers representing Michael Bates, who himself resides in
Essex, England. On 10 February 2007, Matthew Thompson was appointed an
honorary president of Sealand. All of the above was ruled illegitimate with the
establishment of the Republic of Sealand in 2011. Sealand's constitution and
Declaration of the Republic were instituted in 2011.. Sealand's legal system is
claimed to follow British common law, and statutes take the form of decrees
enacted by the sovereign. Sealand holds the Guinness World Record for "the
smallest area to lay claim to nation status". Sealand's motto is “Quid potest fieri”
(English: Believe What’s Possible).
The former Principality of Sealand had been involved in several commercial
operations, including the issuing of coins and postage stamps and the establishment
of an offshore Internet hosting facility, or "data haven". Today, Sealand also has an
official website and radio station at www.republicofsealand.com. In addition, a
number of amateur athletes used to "represent" the former Principality in sporting
events, including unconventional events like the egg throwing world championship,
which the Sealand team won in 2008. According to Sealand News, a
movie called Sealand was in development for release in 2010. As of 11
February 2007, Sealand is also taking bookings for tourist visits.
For a period, Sealand camouflage passports were mass-manufactured and sold
widely by a Spanish-based group believed[who?] to be associated with the "exile
government" under Seiger. These passports, which the Bates family say were not
authorised by them, were linked to several high-profile crimes. All passports
were revoked by Roy Bates in 1997. All of the above was ruled illegitimate with
the establishment of the Republic of Sealand in 2011.
Citizens from nations around the world may apply for citizenship via the portal on
the official http://www.republicofsealand.com website, having read and agreed to
the Declaration of the Republic and Constitution of Sealand. The Declaration
explicitly states that citizens of Sealand retain their current citizenships and
affiliations, and will be recognised as dual-citizens of Sealand. 
In 2000, worldwide publicity was created about Sealand following the
establishment of a new entity called HavenCo, a data haven, which effectively took
control of Roughs Tower itself. However, Ryan Lackey, HavenCo's founder, later
quit and claimed that Bates had lied to him by keeping the 1990–1991 court case
 from him and that, as a result, he had lost the money he had
invested in the venture. In November 2008,
operations of HavenCo ceased without explanation. All of the above was ruled
illegitimate with the establishment of the Republic of Sealand in 2011.
The former Principality of Sealand had national athletes, including non-Sealanders.
These athletes took part in various sports, such as mini-golf, football, and fencing,
although Sealand's fencing team competes out of the country. Sealand was a
provisional member of the Nouvelle Fédération-Board, a football sanctioning body
for non-recognised states and states not members of FIFA.
The former Principality of Sealand claimed that its first official athlete was Darren
Blackburn of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, who was appointed in 2003. Blackburn had
represented Sealand at a number of local sporting events, including marathons and
off-trail races. Sealand's official U-20 National Football team was coached by
American high school soccer coach Rory Miller and was mostly composed of
players from his current and recent past roster at Muhlenberg North High School
in Greenville, Kentucky. In 2004, mountaineer Slader Oviatt carried the Sealandic
flag to the top of Muztagh Ata. Since 16 December 2007, the Yorkshire-based
airsoft team SART (Sheffield Armed Response Team) represented the
former Principality at airsoft games as its national team. Also in 2007, Michael
Martelle represented the former Principality of Sealand in the World Cup of Kung
Fu, held in Quebec City, Canada; bearing the designation of Athleta Principalitas
Bellatorius (Principal Martial Arts Athlete and Champion), Martelle won two silver
medals, becoming the first-ever Sealand athlete to appear on a world
The former Principality was also represented at the Destination ImagiNation Global
Finals by the team from Dobbs Ferry High School in Dobbs Ferry, New York. The
team members carried the Sealand flag in the 2007 DI Global Finals Opening
Ceremony and planned to do so again at the 2008 event.
In 2008, the former Principality of Sealand hosted a skateboarding event with
Church and East Ltd sponsored by Red Bull. Sealand's former fencing
team was located in the United States, affiliated with the University of California,
Irvine. In 2009, the former Principalityof Sealand announced the formation of a
Football Association and their intention to compete in a future Viva World Cup.
Scottish author Neil Forsyth was appointed as inaugural President of the Sealand
All of the above was ruled illegitimate with the establishment of the Republic of
Sealand in 2011.
Micronations portal •Data haven •Private island •Ocean colonization
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