WTO: Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies adopted

The World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, to be inserted in the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization via an amendment (see previous De Maribus report). The decision to adopt this agreement was reached on 17 June 2022 at the WTO Twelfth Ministerial Conference. The Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies includes rules prohibiting subsidies to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing (Article 3), to the fishing of overfished stocks (Article 4), and to fishing on the high seas outside the control of regional fisheries management organizations (Article 5). See the text of the agreement (reference WT/MIN(22)/W/22). Access the draft text and explanatory note here. Access the chair’s full statement here. See also the press release from the WTO on the “Geneva Package”.

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Croatia/Italy: EEZ delimitation agreed

The Governments of Croatia and of Italy have signed on 24 May 2022 an agreement on the delimitation of their exclusive economic zones. See press release from the Government of Croatia and press release from the Government of Italia; see also the text of the agreement, which posits that if a dispute is not settled through direct consultations or negotiations, either Party may submit the dispute to ITLOS, the ICJ or an UNCLOS Annex VII Arbitral Tribunal (see Italian version here).

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IMO: Mediterranean Sea SOx ECA approved

The 78th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 78) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which convened on 6-10 June 2022, approved the designation of the Mediterranean Sea Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and Particulate Matter (Med SOx ECA) under regulation 14 of Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The formal designation of the Med SOx ECA will be put forward for adoption at the 79th session of MEPC due to take place on 12-16 December 2022. MEPC 78 granted its approval after considering the joint and coordinated proposal to designate the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides, which was submitted by all Mediterranean coastal States, along with all Member States of the European Union, and the European Commission. The submission of this proposal was agreed in December 2021 within the framework of the Mediterranean Action Plan of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP/MAP) at COP 22 of the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention). The amendment could enter into force in mid-2024, with the new limit taking effect from 2025. See IMO press release and UNEP press release.

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Calls/Events: Transitions in Climate Arctic Governance

The interdisciplinary Climate Arctic Governance (CArGo) research network welcome proposals for paper and poster presentations at a conference on Transitions in Climate Arctic Governance. The event will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the 16 September 2022. The conference aims to explore the different transitions within Arctic climate governance, which are necessary to address the increasing societal, climate and sustainability challenges the Arctic is facing. The conference will focus on Arctic socio-economic systems and the different legal, political, geographical and cultural regimes at play. In particular, the conference centers around the Arctic governance landscape, paying specific attention to the current geopolitical situation. Further, it will examine the topics of Arctic shipping, climate vulnerability, and natural resources in the Arctic. Deadline to submit proposals is 1 August 2022. More information is available here.

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USA: Ocean Shipping Reform Act passed by Congress

The Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, passed on 13 June 2022 the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. This bill revises requirements governing ocean shipping to increase the authority of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to promote the growth and development of U.S. exports through an ocean transportation system that is competitive, efficient, and economical. For example, the bill requires the FMC to (1) investigate complaints about detention and demurrage charges (i.e., late fees) charged by common ocean carriers, (2) determine whether those charges are reasonable, and (3) order refunds for unreasonable charges. It also prohibits common ocean carriers, marine terminal operators, or ocean transportation intermediaries from unreasonably refusing cargo space when available or resorting to other unfair or unjustly discriminatory methods. See the text (reference S.3580) as approved by the U.S. Congress.

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Canada/Denmark: Hans Island/Tartupaluk maritime boundary dispute resolved

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, along with the Prime Minister of Greenland, signed on 14 June 2022 an agreement resolving outstanding boundary issues over Tartupaluk/Hans Island, the maritime boundary on the continental shelf within 200 nautical miles, including Lincoln Sea, and the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in Labrador Sea. The present agreement incorporates a tentative agreement from 2012 and establishes a modernized single maritime boundary within 200 nautical miles from Lincoln Sea in the north to Labrador Sea in the south – almost 3,000 km. The agreement also establishes a binding boundary line in the overlapping area of the outer continental shelf, which represents an equitable solution, consistent with article 83 of UNCLOS. See press releases from MFA Canada and MFA Denmark.

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Vacancies: internship at The Oceans Cleanup

Nonprofit engineering environmental organization The Oceans Cleanup has opened an internship position on Global Affairs. The successful candidate is expected to inter alia carry out research on particular points of environmental law related to the Ocean and/or waste management. Closing date for applications is 31 July 2022. More information is available here.

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Vacancies: Research Associate at the National University of Singapore

The Centre for International Law (CIL) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) is seeking applications for a Research Associate for a period of two years from candidates with an LLM related to public international law, law of the sea or maritime law and a demonstrable interest in oceans law and policy. The position is hosted by the Oceans Law and Policy Team. Applications close on 15 July 2022. More information is available here.

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Events: Fair and Equitable Deep Seabed Mining

Law firm Volterra Fietta shall host a seminar entitled Fair and Equitable Deep Seabed Mining. This seminar will address the various issues arising from the fair and equitable distribution of deep seabed mining’s financial and other benefits, including as they pertain to the notion of equitable distribution, the transfer of technology, the Enterprise and the Deep Seabed Mining Code. This event will take place on 16 June 2022; for more information see here.

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Events: Dispute resolution under UNCLOS

Law firm Volterra Fietta shall host a seminar entitled Dispute resolution under UNCLOS. This seminar will address various aspects of the UNCLOS dispute resolution system, namely: creativity in such dispute settlement, clarification of the law of the sea through dispute settlement, influencing dispute settlement under UNCLOS, comparisons between the different dispute settlement mechanisms under UNCLOS and how the dispute settlement system might be used to interpret UNCLOS in light of technological developments. This event will take place on 9 June 2022; for more information see here.

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Special Issue: Ocean-Based Action – The Ocean-Climate Nexus & Human Rights

The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law is currently seeking contributions for a special issue, entitled, Ocean-Based Action: The Ocean-Climate Nexus and Human Rights, including advance publication online on a rolling basis. Abstracts are welcome until 1 August 2022, with further details and deadlines in the call for papers.

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Vacancy: Associate Legal Officer at ITLOS

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, an international court with its seat in Hamburg, Germany, has opened the following vacancy: Associate Legal Officer (P-2). Application deadline is 28 June 2022. More information is available here.

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Calls: Implementing “Fit for 55”

The InterTran Research Group for Sustainable Law and Business, at the University of Helsinki and Turku School of Economics (Finland) welcomes proposals for extended abstracts to be presented at the upcoming international conference on Implementing Fit for 55 – The right Logistics and Transport Infrastructure for a Net Zero-Carbon Future. The Nordics at the Helm? The event is organized in collaboration with the Finnish Swedish Chamber of Commerce (FINSVE) and the Institute for Sustainability Science at the University of Helsinki (HELSUS). The conference will include presentations by invited participants (August 24) as well as by extended abstracts selected in the course of this call (August 25). Deadline for submission of abstracts is 20 June 2022. More information can be found in the call and here.

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BS MoU: Interim Guidance on Repatriation of Seafarers due to the Conflict in Ukraine published

The Secretariat of the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control in the Black Sea Region (BS MoU), have agreed on an interim guidance on the issue of repatriation of Ukrainian seafarers, creating a common approach for implementing inspection activities in respect to the repatriation of seafarers. Inter alia, the document encourages Port State Cntrol Officers to show “flexibility” and adopt a “pragmatic approach”, all the while considering that the port State should be assured that seafarers with certificates of competency and associated documentation issued by Ukraine might face difficulties when seeking their renewal. This Interim Guidance on Repatriation of Seafarers due to the Conflict in Ukraine published 10 May 2022 by the BS MoU is available here. A press release from BS MoU dated 19 April 2022 is here.

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Events: maritime boundary delimitation in practice

Law firm Volterra Fietta is organizing a seminar entitled Maritime boundary delimitation in practice. This event will address will discuss how States and private companies alike can better understand and negotiate, and if necessary, plead maritime boundary delimitation in the most sophisticated and detail-oriented ways. The event will take place on 18 May 2022. For more information, see here

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Vacancies: Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Greenwich

The University of Greenwich (U.K.), with the support of NGO Human Rights at Sea, is offering a scholarship for a postgraduate researcher to address the relationship between International Human Rights Law (IHRL), the Law of the Sea and those other bodies of law of relevance within the maritime environment. The applicant must address the application of IHRL, the monitoring of human rights standards, compliance with and enforcement of the law. Closing date for applications is 30 June 2022. More information is available here and here.

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CSO Alliance Launched to Support Vanuatu Initiative to Seek an ICJ Advisory Opinion on Climate Change

On 5 May 2022, the Civil Society Organisations Alliance to Support the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu’s Bid to Request a UN General Assembly Resolution Requesting an Advisory Opinion on Climate Change from the International Court of Justice (CSO Alliance) was launched. In September 2021 the Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu formally announced Vanuatu’s intention to pursue a campaign to request an ICJ Advisory Opinion on the rights of current and future generations in the context of climate change. This followed the previous positive response of the leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum (50th Pacific Island Forum (August 2019) Forum Communique, para. 16), and has had the subsequent indicated support of the Heads of Government at the Thirty-Third Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) (Communique (March 2022)). Consistent with Article 65 of the Statute of the ICJ and Article 96(1) of the UN Charter, the Vanuatu campaign has signalled its intent to table a resolution proposal before the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022 which, if adopted, would request the ICJ Advisory Opinion. The “exact statement of the question upon which an opinion is required” (Article 65, ICJ Statute) does not appear to have been publicly disclosed to-date, but the most recent comments of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu (May 2022) refers to a request “to clarify the legal obligations of states to protect human rights and the environment from climate change”.

More information is available on the websites of the Vanuatu ICJ Initiative and the Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change. On former related initiatives, see the 2011 (unsuccessful) attempt by Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands to have the UN General Assembly “request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the responsibilities of States under international law to ensure that activities carried out under their jurisdiction or control that emit greenhouse gases do not damage other States”, including an explicit reference to Article 194 of UNCLOS.

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Book launch: Unconventional Lawmaking in the Law of the Sea

The International Law Association (Australian Branch) will host a webinar, entitled, Unconventional Lawmaking in the Law of the Sea: A conversation with contributors, 26 May 2022, online, to celebrate the release of Natalie Klein (ed.) Unconventional Lawmaking in the Law of the Sea (OUP 2022). For more information see here.

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Calls: Non-use measures for global goods and commons in international law

The Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS) and the Utrecht Center for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law (UCWOSL) of Utrecht University, in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), are organizing the workshop “Non-use measures for global goods and commons in international law”, which will take place on 8-9 May 2023 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The workshop intends to look at a selection of non-use measures (e.g., bans, moratoria, closed areas) to better understand how specific non-use measures were adopted (or not) and with what effects, and to consider the potential for success of proposals currently under discussion or consideration. Non-use measures related to four themes will be discussed: marine living resources, Antarctica, areas beyond national jurisdiction at sea, and the atmosphere and outer-space. The deadline to submit an abstract is 31 July 2022. More information is available here.

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UNGA: High-Level Commemorative Meeting on 40th Anniversary of UNCLOS

On 29 April 2022 the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly held an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), entitled, Informal meeting of the plenary to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (programme). The event was convened followed a request from the delegations of Denmark, Grenada, Kenya, Portugal and Singapore.

On 30 April 1982, following a request for a recorded vote by the USA, the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea adopted UNCLOS by 130 votes (in favour) to 4 (against), with 17 abstentions (A/CONF.62/SR.182, paras. 26-28, subject to drafting changes and with 2 delegations not participating in the vote). UNCLOS was formally adopted and opened for signature on 10 December 1982 (A/CONF.62/122).

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Events: International Fisheries Law Conference 2022

The University of the Faroe Islands and the Law of the Sea Institute of Iceland are organizing a conference entitled Persistent and Emerging Challenges in International Fisheries Law. This conference will focus on challenges that emerge and those that persist in international fisheries law, including IUU fisheries related matters, institutional mechanisms in RFMOs, jurisdictional aspects in regard to fisheries disputes, substantive aspects in regard to disputes on the conservation and management of transboundary fish stocks, trade related measures with respect to fisheries resources and fisheries related matters concerning BBNJ. The event shall be held in the Faroe Islands, at Kongshøll, on 23 – 25 June 2022. Early bird registration deadline is 15 May 2022. More information is available here.

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EU/Norway: Understanding on Fisheries Management in Northeast Arctic

On 28 April 2022 the European Union and Norway reached an understanding on sustainable fisheries management in the Northeast Arctic (ICES subareas 1 and 2), including in the Fishery Protection Zone around Svalbard. The Ad-hoc exploratory consultations in relation to the fisheries in ICES areas 1 and 2 includes agreed cod quotas and consultations on (direct and by-catch) catch limits for other listed species. This resolves a bilateral disagreement brought to the surface following the 2021 UK-Norway Fisheries Agreement and Svalbard cod quota therein (see also, Agreed Record of Fisheries Consultations for 2022, press release, and 2020 Framework Agreement on Fisheries). Similar to the 2021 UK-Norway Fisheries Agreement, the 2022 EU-Norway Understanding notes “Norway’s rights and duties as a coastal State to regulate, in accordance with international law, the conservation and management of marine living resources in areas where it has sovereign rights, including in the Fishery Protection Zone around Svalbard” and is without prejudice to the Parties respective interpretations of the 1920 Spitsbergen Treaty, Part VII of UNCLOS, and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement.

For more information see the Norwegian press release and EU press release.

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Vacancies: Associate Professor in Law at University of Tromsø

The Faculty of Law of UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, opened a position for an Associate Professor, with primary teaching duties in international law of the sea and environmental law. Closing date for applications is 23 May 2022. More information is available here.

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Calls: NCLOS Conference 2022

The Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea (NCLOS), at the Faculty of Law of UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, has launched a call for papers for its annual Conference, which will be organized in Tromsø, Norway, November 23-24, 2022. NCLOS invites papers addressing the Conference theme “Ocean Space”, broadly constructed. Examples of topics that would fall within the scope of the Conference includes the spatial architecture constructed by the law of the sea; challenges posed by ocean connectivity of currents, species, domains etc.; integrated ocean management; marine spatial planning; protection and preservation of the marine environment in the land-sea interface; limits and possibilities of thinking land and sea together within and beyond the LOSOG framework; effects of emerging issues threatening the marine environment, such as climate change, marine plastic pollution, ocean acidification etc. More information is available here.

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Vacancy: Doctoral Fellow at Ghent University

The Maritime Institute (Department of European, Public and International Law of the Faculty of Law and Criminology, Ghent University (Belgium)) is seeking a doctoral fellow to address, Revising the international fisheries regime: optimum conservation and utilization of fish stocks through feasible legal measures, adequate implementation and effective enforcement. Applications are welcome until 15 June 2022. For more information see here.

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Call for Abstracts: 2022 Oslo International Environmental Law Conference

The IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law and the Faculty of Law of the University of Oslo, will host the 2020 Oslo Environmental Law Conference, themed, The Transformative Power of Law: Addressing Global Environmental Challenges, 3-6 October 2022, at the University of Oslo (Norway). Many of the non-exhaustive subject clusters lend themselves to a law of the sea perspective submission, although most evident is 3. Transforming Ocean Governance: UNCLOS as Living Instrument. Abstracts are welcome until 30 April 2022. For more information see here.

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Book Launch: The Law of the Sea (4th Ed)

On 26 May 2022 the Manchester International Law Centre (UoM) and Manchester University Press shall host a virtual book launch with the authors for: Robin Churchill, Vaughan Lowe and Amy Sander, The law of the sea (4th Ed., 2022). For more information see here.

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Moot Court: 2022 China International Law of the Sea Competition 

Wuhan University China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies (CIBOS) and the Chinese Society of the Law of the Sea have announced the 2022 China International Law of the Sea Moot Court Competition, The Case Concerning Iron Fertilization in the Eleanor Sea (The Republic of Futuna v. The Kingdom of Ellis), to be held 22-23 October 2022, online. Registration is open until 31 May 2022. For more information see here.

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ICJ: Sovereign Rights & Maritime Spaces (Nicaragua/Colombia) Judgment

On 21 April 2022 the ICJ delivered its Judgment on the merits, Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment. This Judgment was accompanied by 3 Dissenting Opinions (Judge Abraham; Judge Nolte; Judge ad hoc McRae) 4 Declarations (Vice-President Gevorgian; Judge Bennouna; Judge Xue; Judge Iwasawa) and 3 Separate Opinions (Judge Tomka; Judge Yusuf; Judge Robinson). Previously, the ICJ delivered its Preliminary Objections, Judgment of 17 March 2016 and the previous decisions on sovereignty over certain maritime features and maritime delimitation in the Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment of 19 November 2012 formed an integral part of the legal and geographic background to this case.

The Judgment of 21 April 2022 includes, among others, significant statements on the scope of the customary international law of the sea, the scope of coastal state rights in the contiguous zone, rights and duties concerning freedom of navigation and marine environmental protection, exceptionalism of historic fishing rights, and the scope of straight baselines and their relationship to other rights and duties in the law of the sea. The operative clause (paragraph 261, votes omitted) states:

THE COURT,
(1) By ten votes to five,
Finds that its jurisdiction, based on Article XXXI of the Pact of Bogotá, to adjudicate upon the dispute regarding the alleged violations by the Republic of Colombia of the Republic of Nicaragua’s rights in the maritime zones which the Court declared in its 2012 Judgment to appertain to the Republic of Nicaragua, covers the claims based on those events referred to by the Republic of Nicaragua that occurred after 27 November 2013, the date on which the Pact of Bogotá ceased to be in force for the Republic of Colombia;

(2) By ten votes to five,
Finds that, by interfering with fishing and marine scientific research activities of Nicaraguan-flagged or Nicaraguan-licensed vessels and with the operations of Nicaraguan naval vessels in the Republic of Nicaragua’s exclusive economic zone and by purporting to enforce conservation measures in that zone, the Republic of Colombia has violated the Republic of Nicaragua’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction in this maritime zone;

(3) By nine votes to six,
Finds that, by authorizing fishing activities in the Republic of Nicaragua’s exclusive economic zone, the Republic of Colombia has violated the Republic of Nicaragua’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction in this maritime zone;

(4) By nine votes to six,
Finds that the Republic of Colombia must immediately cease the conduct referred to in points (2) and (3) above;

(5) By thirteen votes to two,
Finds that the “integral contiguous zone” established by the Republic of Colombia by Presidential Decree 1946 of 9 September 2013, as amended by Decree 1119 of 17 June 2014, is not in conformity with customary international law, as set out in paragraphs 170 to 187 above;

(6) By twelve votes to three,
Finds that the Republic of Colombia must, by means of its own choosing, bring into conformity with customary international law the provisions of Presidential Decree 1946 of 9 September 2013, as amended by Decree 1119 of 17 June 2014, in so far as they relate to maritime areas declared by the Court in its 2012 Judgment to appertain to the Republic of Nicaragua;

(7) By twelve votes to three,
Finds that the Republic of Nicaragua’s straight baselines established by Decree No. 33-2013 of 19 August 2013, as amended by Decree No. 17-2018 of 10 October 2018, are not in conformity with customary international law;

(8) By fourteen votes to one,
Rejects all other submissions made by the Parties.

Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment [261].

See also the Summary 2022/3 (21 April 2022).

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Workshop: UNCLOS at 40 – Judiciary Contributions & Judicial Jurisdiction

The Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS) and the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law (UCWOSL) will host a workshop, entitled, The United Nations Convention on the law of the sea at forty: the contribution of the judiciary and judicial jurisdiction, 5-6 May 2022 in a hybrid format (Utrecht/Online). For more information see here.

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Call for Papers: Africa and the Challenge of Climate Change

The African Society of International Law (AfSIL) is currently seeking contributions for its 11th Annual Conference, entitled, Africa and the Challenge of Climate Change, 28-29 October 2022 in Cairo, Egypt (virtual participation possible). This includes Theme VIII: Climate Change and the Law of the Sea, although other themes may also be addressed from a law of the sea perspective. Abstracts are welcome untill 15 May 2022. For more information see here.

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Call for Papers: UNCLOS in Asia-Pacific – 40 Years and Onwards

The Development of International Law in Asia-Korea (DILA-KOREA) and the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) are seeking papers for the 2022 Asia-Pacific Ocean Law Institutions Alliance (APOLIA) Conference, themed, UNCLOS in Asia-Pacific: 40 Years and Onwards, 19–20 May 2022. Abstracts are welcome until 20 April 2022. For more information see the call for papers.

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Courses: Kadir Has Law of the Sea Summer Academy 2022

Kadir Has University in Istambul (Turkey) is hosting this years edition of its international law of the sea summer academy on 18-29 June 2022. The theme is the 40 years of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Registration is now open with early application deadline by 15 May 2022; the program and further information is available here.

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EU: Prohibition on Access to Port for Russian Flagged Vessels

On 8 April 2022 the Council of the European Union adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/578, as well as the corresponding regulatory action to ensure uniform application in all Member States (Recital 10), Council Regulation (EU) 2022/576. Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/578 introduced, among other measures, prohibitions on access to EU ports of vessels registered under the flag of Russia and recently reflagged (24 February 2022) vessels formerly registered under the flag of Russia (Article 1(18); inserting Article 4ha into Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP). Article 1(11) of Council Regulation (EU) 2022/576 therefore inserts Article 3ea into Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014, whereby:

1.   It shall be prohibited to provide access after 16 April 2022 to ports in the territory of the Union to any vessel registered under the flag of Russia.

2.   Paragraph 1 shall apply to vessels that have changed their Russian flag or their registration, to the flag or register of any other State after 24 February 2022.

3.   For the purposes of this Article, a vessel means:

(a) a ship falling within the scope of the relevant international conventions;

(b) a yacht, of 15 metres in length or more, which does not carry cargo and carrying no more than 12 passengers; or

(c) recreational craft or personal watercraft as defined in Directive 2013/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council.

4.  Paragraph 1 shall not apply in the case of a vessel in need of assistance seeking a place of refuge, of an emergency port call for reasons of maritime safety, or for saving life at sea.

5.  By way of derogation from paragraph 1, the competent authorities may authorise a vessel to access a port, under such conditions as they deem appropriate, after having determined that the access is necessary for:

(a) the purchase, import or transport into the Union of natural gas and oil, including refined petroleum products, titanium, aluminium, copper, nickel, palladium and iron ore, as well as certain chemical and iron products as listed in Annex XXIV;

(b) the purchase, import or transport of pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural and food products, including wheat and fertilisers whose import, purchase and transport is allowed under this Regulation;

(c) humanitarian purposes;

(d) transport of nuclear fuel and other goods strictly necessary for the functioning of civil nuclear capabilities; or

(e) the purchase, import or transport into the Union of coal and other solid fossil fuels, as listed in Annex XXII until 10 August 2022.

6.   The Member State concerned shall inform the other Member States and the Commission of any authorisation granted under paragraph 5 within two weeks of the authorisation

Article 1(11) of Council Regulation (EU) 2022/576 (footnotes omitted)

For more information see the Council of the EU press release and Official Journal of the European Union, L 111, 8 April 2022.

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Vacancies: Program Coordinator & Research Assistant – Center for Strategic & International Studies

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is currently advertising full-time positions, including a Program Coordinator and a Research Assistant to join the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) and the Stephenson Ocean Security Project (SOS), based in Washington, D.C. (USA). For more information see here.

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Vacancy: (Senior) Research Fellow – Law of the Sea at MPFPR

The Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law (Heidelberg, Germany) is currently advertising the position of (Senior) Research Fellow with Specialisation in Law of the Sea, focusing on the Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean regions. Applications are welcome until 29 April 2022. For more information see here.

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UK: The Russia (Sanctions)(EU Exit)(Amendment)(No. 7) Regulations 2022

On 29 March 2022 The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2022 (S.I. 395/2022) were made and entered into force on 30 March 2022. The Regulations amend the previously reported Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/855), of relevance including the extension of “Crimea” shipping and trade sanctions to “non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts” (defined, Regulation 2); a prohibition of technical assistance relating to vessels to, or for the benefit of, designated persons (Regulation 46A); and the additions of penalties (Regulation 80) for offences under Part 6 (Ships). See further, the UK Government press release.

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Call for Papers: ASCOMARE Yearbook on the Law of the Sea Vol. 2

Associazione di Consulenza in Diritto del Mare (ASCOMARE) has launched a call for papers for the Second Volume of its Yearbook on the Law of the Sea (YLoS), entitled, Fisheries and the Law of the Sea in the Anthropocene Era. Abstracts are welcome until 31 May 2022. For more information see the call for papers and Volume 1.

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EU: Member of North Pacific Fisheries Commission

On 23 March 2022 the European Union (EU) became a Member of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC), having acceded to the Convention for the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean. As required for accession under Article 24(2) of the NPFC Convention, existing Members reached consensus on inviting the EU to accede at the 6th Meeting of the NPFC (23-25 February 2021) (COM06 Report, para. 8). The NPFC was unable to reach consensus on the EU’s previous 2018 and 2019 requests to join, and the EU’s 2020 request was not considered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of NPFC Meeting. Some Members expressed concerns over EU fishing activities in the Convention Area, proposing conditions thereof (COM06 Report, para. 10; Annex D). For more information see here and here.

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Call for Papers: Enhancing Climate Action Beyond the State

The Centre for International Law and Governance (Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen) and the Frank Guarini Center (New York University School of Law) will host the IV TRAMEREN International Conference, entitled, Enhancing Climate Action beyond the State, 1-2 June 2022, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Paper proposals are welcome until 26 April 2022. For more information see here.

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ROK/Mexico: Proposal to amend 1996 London Protocol – sewage sludge dumping prohibition

On 25 March 2022, the Republic of Korea and Mexico submitted a Proposal to amend Annex 1 to the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes or other Matter, 1972 to remove sewage sludge from the list of wastes or other matter that may be considered for dumping (LC44/10, annexed to Circular Letter No. 4539). The amendment is proposed under Article 21 of the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Protocol) and would entail the deletion of sewage sludge from the list of permissible wastes in Annex 1 of the London Protocol.

If the amendment is adopted, Article 4(1) of the London Protocol will apply to sewage sludge whereby:

Contracting Parties shall prohibit the dumping of any wastes or other matter with the exception of those listed in Annex 1.

London Protocol, Article 4(1).

Note, the governing bodies at the previous Meeting of Parties (43rd London Convention/16th London Protocol) in October 2021 agreed “that there was sufficient evidence and justification for amending Annex 1 to remove sewage sludge from the list of permissible wastes” and “invited a Contracting Party or Parties to the London Protocol to propose an amendment to Annex 1 of the London Protocol to remove sewage sludge from the list of wastes or other matter that could be considered for dumping” (LC 43/17, paras. 10.16-10.24). The proposal is submitted for consideration and adoption at the 17th London Protocol Meeting of Contracting Parties (3-7 October 2022). For more information see the IMO press release.

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USA: Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022 passed by House of Representatives

The United States House of Representatives passed the Don Young Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022 to authorize appropriations for the Coast Guard, and for other purposes. Inter alia, this amendment provides the following amendments on “Manning and Crewing Requirements for Certain Vessels, Vehicles and Structures” (see Sec. 419):

The Secretary may provide an exemption (…) to the owner or operator of a covered facility if each individual who is manning or crewing the covered facility is – (1) a citizen of the United States; (2) an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence; or (3) a citizen of the nation under the laws of which the vessel is documented.
(…)
An exemption under this subsection is an exemption from the regulations established pursuant to section 30(a)(3) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1356(a)(3)).
(…)
An exemption under this section – (1) shall provide that the number of individuals manning or crewing the covered facility (…) (a) may not exceed two and one- half times the number of individuals required to man or crew the covered facility under the laws of the nation under the laws of which the covered facility is documented; and (2) shall be effective for not more than 12 months, but may be renewed by application to and approval by the Secretary.
(…)
The term ‘covered facility’ means any vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure, over 50 percent of which is owned by citizens of a foreign nation or with respect to which the citizens of a foreign nation have the right effectively to control, except to the extent and to the degree that the President determines that the government of such foreign nation or any of its political subdivisions has implemented, by statute, regulation, policy, or practice, a national manning requirement for equipment engaged in the exploring for, developing, or producing resources, including non-mineral energy resources in its offshore areas.

This Bill also imposes the purchase of automatic identification systems for fishing vessels, fish processing vessels, fish tender vessels more than 50 feet in length (see Sec. 307). The Bill was received in the United States Senate on 30 March 2022 and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. A full version of Bill H.R. 6865 may be found here.

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Norway: conviction in ship-breaking case upheld by Court of Appeal

A Court of Appeal in Norway (Gulating Lagmannsrett) confirmed the prison sentence of a ship owner for aiding and abetting the attempt to export a ship to Pakistan for scrapping, in violation of the Norwegian Pollution Control Act. The Court of Appeal found that it makes little difference to the criminality of the act if a shipowner himself sells the ship directly to a scrapper on the beach in Gadani, or sells to an intermediary and criminally contributes to its export and scrapping. Further information may be found in this press release from the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim). The background history on the case of this ship – the Harrier – was also published by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

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UK: consultation on the development of an Emissions Trading Scheme open

The Emissions Trading Scheme Authority of the United Kingdom (UK ETS) is seeking stakeholder views on proposals to develop the UK ETS which operates across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This call is of particular interest to individual companies and representatives of the maritime sector as Chapter 7 sets out proposals to expand the scope of the UK ETS to the domestic maritime sector. UK ETS replaced the UK’s participation in the EU ETS on 1 January 2021. This consultation is open until 17 June 2022; more information available here.

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UK: responses to the consultation on the draft nuclear ships regulations published

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) of the United Kingdom (UK) has published a summary of the responses to a consultation on the proposed Merchant Shipping (Nuclear Ships) Regulations. MCA had opened this consultation in August 2021 seeking views to assist in transposing Chapter VIII in the Annex to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (‘SOLAS’ or ‘the Convention’) into UK law. Views were also sought on the accompanying draft Marine Guidance Notice. The UK Government now intends to make the Regulations and bring them into force by the autumn of 2022. The Marine Guidance Note will be finalised and published at that time. A summary of the responses to that consultation is available here.

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2022 Rear Admiral Horace B. Robertson Prize in International Law

The Judge Advocate General of the Navy (USA) has announced the 2022 Rear Admiral Horace B. Robertson Prize in International Law, which welcomes submissions in the field of international law, related to national security, until 20 June 2022. The prize is “open to all judge advocates, including reservists and retirees, in the armed forces of any country”, with the winning article being published in International Law Studies. For more information see here.

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ISA/IORA: MoU on Cooperation in Areas of Common Interest

On 18 March 2022, the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the Secretary-General of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) signed the Memorandum of understanding between the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the International Seabed Authority which aims to “provide a framework of cooperation and facilitate collaboration […] in the areas of common interest” (para. 1). This follows approval of the MoU by the IORA Member States (16 April 2020) and the Council of the ISA (10 December 2021) (ISBA/26/C/13/Add.1, para. 36). Such arrangements on consultation and cooperation by the ISA with international and non-governmental organizations is initiated by the Secretary-General of the ISA by virtue of the competence found in Article 169(1) of UNCLOS. As per Article 169(2) of UNCLOS, IORA now “may designate representatives to attend meetings of the organs of the Authority as observers” and “procedures shall be established for obtaining the views of [IORA] in appropriate cases”.

Areas of co-operation in the MoU, to implement through supplement arrangements (para. 3), include:

(a) To consult, where appropriate and practical, on matters of mutual interest with a view to promoting or enhancing a better understanding and coordination of their respective activities in respect of such matters;
(b) To develop joint capacity-building programmes related to seabed exploration, legal and policy formulation, and environmental management planning;
(c) To cooperate, where appropriate and practical, for the sharing and managing of information and non-confidential data related to offshore hydrocarbon and seabed mineral deposits;
(d) To promote, where appropriate, exchange of information and sharing of technologies related to seabed exploration and mining;
(e) To promote and encourage marine scientific research.

Memorandum of understanding between the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the International Seabed Authority, para. 2 (ISBA/26/C/16, Annex)

See further the ISA press release.

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Colloquium: Colloque à l’occasion des 40 ans de la Convention des Nations unies sur le droit de la mer

The Centre d’études et de recherche internationales et communautaires (Aix-Marseille Université), supported by the International Association for the Law of the Sea, shall host a Colloquium, entitled, Colloque à l’occasion des 40 ans de la Convention des Nations unies sur le droit de la mer, 16-17 June 2022, in a hybrid format (Aix-en-Provence/Online). For more information see the programme and here.

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Call for Proposals: 15th Polar Law Symposium

The Center for Arctic Studies (University of Iceland), in partnership with the Arctic Circle, will co-host the 15th Polar Law Symposium, 12-14 October 2022, in Reykjavík, Iceland. Proposals for keynotes, panels, workshops and/or single topic presentations for inclusion on the PLS agenda are welcome until 15 April 2022. For more information see here

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USA: Import prohibitions on Russian-origin fisheries & oil and gas sectors

On 8 March 2022 the President of the United States of America signed Executive Order 14066, entitled, Prohibiting Certain Imports and New Investments With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Efforts To Undermine the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine, which includes, among others, the following:

Section 1. (a) The following are prohibited:
(i) the importation into the United States of the following products of Russian Federation origin: crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products;

Executive Order 14066

On 11 March 2022 the President of the United States of America signed Executive Order 14068, entitled, Prohibiting Certain Imports, Exports, and New Investment With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Aggression, which includes, among others, the following:

Section 1. (a) The following are prohibited:
(i) the importation into the United States of the following products of Russian Federation origin: fish, seafood, and preparations thereof; alcoholic beverages; non-industrial diamonds; and any other products of Russian Federation origin as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce;

Executive Order 14068

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