The Application of Teachings by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

By: Sondre Torp Helmersen

PDF Version: S T Helmersen Blog post

Matter commented on: teachings by the ITLOS

This blog post is based on an article in (2020) 11 Journal of International Dispute Settlement p. 20-46, which can be accessed through the following link: https://academic.oup.com/jids/article-abstract/11/1/20/5715401

I. Introduction and methodology

How international judges use academic texts is a topic that attracts a small but steady degree of attention from the international legal academy. This blog post and the related article look at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), an institution that has not yet been the subject of such analysis.

This blog post and the related article focus on the role of teachings in answering specific legal questions that come before an international tribunal. Teachings also have other functions in international law. They help systematise the law and can present broader criticisms and reflections on the law’s history and future development. Examining these functions of teachings would require a methodology different from the one used here.

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Posted in International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Sources of international law | Leave a comment

CJEU judgement on Slovenia v Croatia: What role for international law in EU-accession dispute settlement?

By: Thomas Bickl

PDF Version:Bickl II CJEU SLO CRO

Matter commented on: CJEU judgement on jurisdiction Case Art. 259 TFEU Republic of Slovenia v Republic of Croatia (C-457/18), 31 January 2020

I. Introduction

With regard to the Case under examination here, the Republic of Slovenia brought infringement proceedings against the Republic of Croatia under Article 259 TFEU before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on 13 July 2018 (C-457/18). In short, Slovenia claimed that Croatia violates its obligations to respect EU law by refusing to implement the arbitration award on the maritime and land border between Croatia and Slovenia issued on 29 June 2017. To that end, an Arbitration Agreement between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia had been concluded on 04 November 2009 in the course of Croatia’s EU accession negotiations following a blockade of the Republic of Slovenia on the grounds that documents submitted by the Republic of Croatia during the negotiations prejudiced the definition of the disputed common State border.

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Posted in CJEU, Law of the Sea Convention | Leave a comment

A book review of Emerging Legal Orders in the Arctic: The Role of Non-Arctic Actors

By: Jan Jakub Solski*

PDF version: NCLOS Blog Jan Solski Blog book review

Matter commented on: Emerging Legal Orders in the Arctic: The Role of Non-Arctic Actors

Akiho Shibata, Leilei Zou, Nikolas Sellheim and Marzia Scopelliti (eds)

(2019) Informa Law from Routledge, h/b,

ISBN: 978-1-138-61851, pp 286, £115.

*The review will be published in the forthcoming issue of Journal of International Maritime Law vol 25 (2019)  Issue 5, published by Lawtext Publishing Ltd  www.lawtext.com

This most interesting book is a collection of contributions by a geographically diverse group of legal and political science experts, reflecting on the recent developments in the legal regime of the Arctic and taking a specific interest in non-Arctic actors. It responds to an observation that there is a remarkable change all over the world, particularly felt and visible in the Arctic (p 1). Climate change, globalisation and shifts in power, such as the shift in relative political and economic power from the West to the East, as well as the recognition for the increasing role of non-state actors in international law, all provide the rationale for the book and its focus. Continue reading

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The Advocate General’s Opinion on Slovenia v Croatia: A proper reflection of international law and the EU’s role in the Arbitration Agreement?

By: Thomas Bickl

PDF Version: Bickl AG CJEU SLO CRO

Matter commented on: Advocate General Opinion Case Republic of Slovenia v Republic of Croatia (C-457/18), 11 December 2019

I. Introduction

The Republic of Slovenia brought infringement proceedings against the Republic of Croatia under Article 259 TFEU before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on 13 July 2018 (C-457/18). Slovenia claims that Croatia violates its obligations to respect EU law by refusing to implement the arbitration award on the maritime and land border between Croatia and Slovenia issued on 29 June 2017. Continue reading

Posted in CJEU, Law of the Sea Convention | Leave a comment

Dispute Settlement in the New Treaty on Marine Biodiversity in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction

Dispute Settlement in the New Treaty on Marine Biodiversity in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction

By: Joanna Mossop*

PDF Version:J Mossop Dispute Settlement in the BBNJ Treaty NCLOS

Matter commented on: Dispute settlement provisions in BBNJ

Introduction

In December 2017, the United Nations General Assembly authorised the commencement of negotiations for a new treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Treaty). The new treaty is to be the third implementing agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). At the time of writing, three sessions of the intergovernmental conference have been held and two draft texts issued by the President of the Conference, Ambassador Rena Lee (see here and here). The purpose of this comment is to reflect on the future of the dispute settlement provisions in the new Agreement. I will focus on the provisions that appeared in the first draft text and were unchanged in the second draft text. These provisions essentially provided for the application of Part XV of UNCLOS mutatis mutandis (with the necessary changes) to disputes about the interpretation and application of the BBNJ Treaty.

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Posted in Biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), Dispute settlement, Marine biodiversity | Leave a comment

Provisional Application of an Amendment to the London Protocol to Facilitate Collaborative CCS Projects

By: Nigel Bankes

PDF version: Blog_NBankes_Article6 (GZ DW edit)(NB)

Document Commented On: Resolution LP.5(14) on the Provisional Application of the 2009 Amendment to Article 6 of the London Protocol, adopted 11 October 2019, by the 14th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and other Matters. [Note: Documents relating to the London Convention and Protocol including this document may be accessed on the website of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) here but users have to create an account to obtain access. Follow “Meeting Documents” and then LC Documents (Session 41). For convenience, the text of the Resolution is included at the foot of this post].

This post examines the recent decision of the Contracting Parties to the 1996 Protocol (the London Protocol or LP) to the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and other Matters (London Dumping Convention or LC) to agree to the provisional application of an amendment to Article 6 of the LP. That amendment (originally adopted in 2009) when it enters into force will allow the export of CO2 for geological sequestration. The amendment is a crucial piece of the puzzle to permit collaborative projects for the subsea disposal of captured carbon dioxide emissions from industrial facilities located elsewhere than the coastal State responsible for the disposal site. This initiative, which will permit provisional application of that amendment, will help facilitate projects such as the Equinor-led Northern Lights Project on the Norwegian continental shelf. That project is currently drilling a test well: see here and here.

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Posted in Law of the Sea Convention, London Dumping Convention, London Protocol | Leave a comment

Palestine Takes to the Sea: a Commentary on Palestine’s Declaration concerning its Maritime Claims

By: Nicholas A. Ioannides

Pdf version: NCLOS Blog 20.11.2019 Ioannides Palestine maritime claims

Matter commented on: Declaration of the State of Palestine regarding its Maritime Boundaries in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, September 24, 2019

Introduction On 24 September 2019, the State of Palestine transmitted to the United Nations a Declaration whereby it promulgates its maritime assertions under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (‘LOSC’) including tables of coordinates and a map depicting its claimed maritime area. It is worth recalling that following its accession to the LOSC the State of Palestine sent a similar declaration to the UN in 2015, albeit without coordinates and map. Notably, a short while ago an article outlined Palestine’s strategy aiming at both promoting and safeguarding the latter’s rights over the sea waters adjacent to Gaza. This post comments on the latest Declaration by the State of Palestine and highlights certain noteworthy aspects of it.

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Posted in Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Maritime delimitation, Territorial Sea Delimitation | Leave a comment

Welcome to you all, new NCLOS Blog’s Readers!

The Norwegian Centre of the Law of the Sea research activity has started and this blog aims to become a new breeding ground of ideas for the passionate of the law of the sea, ocean governance and all related topics.

I am inspired, humbled and honoured to take up the baton from Nigel Bankes and be the blog editor of this new season. In this blog, we want to share ideas, news and best practices about laws and oceans, and develop stronger connections with the ocean-based research community.

You will be exposed to our views ocean law and governance-related topics. You are more than welcome to respond, add comments and suggestions, disagree and express dissenting opinions. I ask to keep the comments relevant to the conversations taking place here so that we can always be kind and respectful to all those involved and add value and depth to the dialogue in a constructive manner.

Young scholars (in age and spirit), PhD students and LLM students that are willing to publish their Master thesis’ findings, are especially encouraged to contact us: this blog is meant to be a platform to develop your creative research and writing skills as young explorers! I encourage you to visit the NCLOS website and learn about us, about our current and future research areas, about who we are and our core values.

It will be my task to receive your contributions (short opinion pieces as well as more in-depth analyses that draw attention to your field of expertise), news, interesting events, book reviews and reading suggestions. Please feel free to contact me for more information and consider subscribing and engaging in discussion around the notion of ocean governance, which I believe is central for a better common future in research.

Thank you for reading and visiting, and helping us build a vibrant research community focused on observations, research and exchange of views around our wonderful oceans.

 

With gratitude,

Margherita Paola Poto,

Forsker, NCLOS UiT, Tromsø

Email contact: margherita.p.poto@uit.no

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Settlement of the Dispute concerning the Arctic Sunrise – A belated recognition of the relevance of the award on the merits in the Arctic Sunrise case?

By: Alex Oude Elferink

PDF version: http://site.uit.no/jclos/files/2019/07/JCLOS-Blog-8.7.2019-Settlement-of-the-Dispute-concerning-the-Arctic-Sunrise_Elferink.pdf

Document commented upon: Joint statement of the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on scientific cooperation in the Russian Arctic region and the settlement of a dispute (Joint statement)

In the fall of 2013, the detention of the vessel Arctic Sunrise and its crew by Russian security forces was breaking news. The detention followed a protest action of Greenpeace activists against the rig Prirazlomnaia, which planned to begin the commercial production of oil in the Pechora Sea in the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation accused the activists of engaging among others in piracy and hooliganism. The activists faced criminal charges entailing long-term prison terms. The detention of the vessel and its crew prompted the Netherlands, the flag State of the Arctic Sunrise, to start arbitral proceedings against the Russian Federation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Convention), to which both States are parties. The Russian Federation immediately rejected that the arbitral tribunal had the jurisdiction to deal with this dispute and abstained from participating in the proceedings. However, the non-participation of the Russian Federation did not stop the arbitral procedure. Prior to the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), in an order indicating provisional measures to protect the rights of the Netherlands, had already ordered the Russian Federation to release the Arctic Sunrise and its crew. Although the Russian Federation did not comply with the order of the ITLOS, it did release the crew of the Arctic Sunrise as part of an amnesty in connection with the 20th anniversary of the Russian constitution in December 2013. The bill introduced in the State Duma was amended at the last moment to include the charges that had been brought against the crew members. This probably did much to defuse media attention for the Arctic Sunrise incident in the Western press. The Arctic Sunrise itself was eventually allowed to leave the Russian port of Murmansk in June of 2014. Continue reading

Posted in Arbitration, coastal states, Due Regard, flag states, freedom of expression, Hot pursuit, human rights law, Installations, Jurisdiction, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Safety Zones | Leave a comment

Freedom of Navigation Following the M/V “Norstar” Case

By: Arron N. Honniball

Pdf version: http://site.uit.no/jclos/files/2019/06/JCLOS-Blog_4.6.2019_Honniball_Norstar_Freedom_of_Navigation.pdf

Case commented on: The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Judgement in the M/V “Norstar” Case Between Panama and Italy, 10 April 2019.

Introduction

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) delivered its Judgement in the M/V “Norstar” Case (Panama v. Italy) on 10 April 2019: The M/V “Norstar” Case (Panama v. Italy) Judgement. The Tribunal found that Italy violated Article 87(1) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), but did not violate Article 300 of UNCLOS.  Article 87(2) of UNCLOS was found to be inapplicable (“Norstar” Judgement, para 469).

The factual background in brief is that the M/V “Norstar” was an oil tanker flying the Panamanian flag. According to Italy, an investigation into the activities of M/V “Norstar” and the “bunkering brokers” registered in Italy (Rossmare International S.A.S.) “revealed ‘that the M/V Norstar was involved in the business of selling the fuel purchased in Italy in exemption of tax duties to a clientele of Italian and other EU leisure boats in the international waters [high seas] off the coasts of the Italian city of Sanremo’” (“Norstar” Judgement, paras 69-70). Italy initiated criminal proceedings against the individuals involved and also issued a decree of seizure against the M/V “Norstar” as the corpus delicti of the alleged crimes. Spain enforced the decree of seizure when the M/V “Norstar” was within Spanish internal waters (“Norstar” Judgement, paras 70-75). An Italian court eventually ordered that the M/V “Norstar” be released and returned to its owners following the acquittal of the persons involved; but M/V Norstar’s owners never took possession and the vessel was auctioned off by the Spanish port authority (“Norstar” Judgement, paras 80-86).

This post analyses the doctrinal contributions of the Norstar” Judgement to both freedom of navigation (Article 87(1)(a) of UNCLOS) and exclusive flag state jurisdiction (Article 92(1) of UNCLOS). The post concludes with a brief discussion as to if and why the Tribunal may wish to clarify its position on these issues in any forthcoming M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria), Order. Continue reading

Posted in Article 87, Article 92, Jurisdiction, Law of the Sea Convention, Treaty Interpretation | 1 Comment