The Malaysia Institute of Australian National University has announced four DFAT-funded Malaysia-Australia Maritime Exchange Virtual Visiting Research Fellowships, to begin January 2022 and address “research on key maritime issues of interest to Australia, Malaysia and the Southeast Asian region”. This includes two Malaysian-based Fellows (to be hosted virtually by an Australian Institution) and two Australian-based Fellows (to be hosted virtually by a Malaysian institution). Applications are welcome until 30 October 2021. For more information and to apply see here.
California State Lands Commission adopted regulatory amendments that will implement the federal ballast water discharge standards of the United States of America (USA) for vessels arriving at California ports. These changes will become effective on 1 January 2022.
The State rules apply to vessels over 300GT that are capable of carrying ballast water. The ballast water management requirements address vessels arriving in California Waters from a port or place outside the Pacific Coast Region and vessels arriving in California Waters from a port or place within the Pacific Coast Region, with ballast water from the Pacific Coast Region. The Pacific Coast Region (PCR) comprises the waters within 200nm of land on the Pacific Coast of North America east of 154°W longitude and north of 25°N latitude, excluding the Gulf of California.
The Commission’s press release dated 15 October 2021 is here. A brochure from the Commission’s Marine Invasive Species Program (MISP) with a summary of the regulatory changes is available here. A commentary published by marine insurance company North P&I on these measures is available here.
The Centre d’Études et de Recherches Internationales et Communautaires (CERIC) and the Institut du Droit Economique de la Mer (INDEMER) are organizing a colloquium on conflicts of use at sea, focusing on the conciliation of human activities in European waters. The event takes place on 18-19 November 20201 at the Law Faculty of the Université d’Aix Marseille. The programme is available here; registration is mandatory.
The Interdepartmental Research Center on the Adriatic and the Mediterranean of the University of Macerata (CiRAM) will host a webinar, entitled, Le implicazioni dell’innalzamento del livello del mare sul diritto internazionale/Les implications de l’elevation du niveau de la mer pour le droit international, 12 November 2021, online (Blackboard Collaborate). For more information see here and the programme.
The NUS Centre for International Law is hosting a series of webinars on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the first webinar, entitled, MASS and the Marine Environment, will take place 27 October 2021, online (Zoom). For more information see here.
The International Relations and Defence Committee of the UK Parliament is undertaking an inquiry into the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), entitled, UNCLOS: fit for purpose in the 21st century?, including a call for written evidence concerning a series of questions posed by the Committee. Written evidence at this stage is welcome until 12 November 2021. The first oral evidence session will also take place 20 October 2021 and may be watched online.
For more information see the call for evidence.
The Supreme Federal Court (STF) of Brazil upheld the appeal of family members of a fisherman who want the Federal Republic of Germany to compensate them for his death in 1943, when a fishing boat was sunk by a German submarine off the Brazilian coast. By majority vote, the STF established the thesis that unlawful acts committed by foreign States in violation of human rights do not enjoy immunity from jurisdiction in Brazil. Reference: (ARE) 954858.
The attack on the fishing boat Changri-lá killed ten fishermen in July 1943, during World War II, in Brazilian territorial sea, near Cabo Frio (RJ). In 2001, the Maritime Court officially recognized that the cause of the wreck was the torpedoing of the vessel by a German U-199 submarine, leading the grandchildren and widows of one of the fishermen’s grandchildren to file, in 2006, an action for compensation for material and moral damages. In the first instance, the action for reparation was dismissed without a resolution on the merits. The family appealed to the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), but the appeal was not admitted based on the jurisprudence of that Court, which prevents the foreign State from being held liable for an act of war.
The Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS) has announced the third edition of the NILOS Moot Court Competition, with the international rounds scheduled to take place from 9-13 May 2022, online. The Competition Case is expected to be published 15 October 2021 and team registration (free of charge) is open until 15 December 2021. Registration for judges is expected to open soon.
On 1 October 2021, OSPAR held a hybrid ministerial meeting hosted by the Government of Portugal (postponed from June 2020 due to the pandemic), the outcomes of which included a legally binding OSPAR Decision to establish the North Atlantic Current and Evlanov Sea basin Marine Protected Area (NACES MPA). The NACES MPA (595,196 square km) is established in the high seas and seeks to protect a vitally important area for seabirds. For more information see here and here.
The International Court of Justice has delivered on 12 October 2021 its Judgment in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya). The Court found that there was no agreed maritime boundary between the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Republic of Kenya and proceeded to determine the course of that maritime boundary. The Court also rejected the claim made by the Federal Republic of Somalia concerning the allegation that the Republic of Kenya, by its conduct in the disputed area, had violated its international obligations. The judgment may be found here.
The Jean Monnet Network on Migration and Asylum Policies Systems shall host a conference, entitled, Irregular Migrations in Europe: A Perspective from the Sea Basins, 22 October 2021, in a hybrid format (MS Teams/University of A Coruña, Spain). For more information see here.
The Polar Cooperation Research Centre (Kobe University, Japan), Polar Law Institute (University of Akureyri, Iceland), the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law – Arctic Centre (University of Lapland, Finland) and the University of the Arctic and its Arctic Law Thematic Network (Finland) shall co-host the 14th Polar Law Symposium 2021, themed, The Blue Earth, from the Poles, through the Law, 21-23 November 2021, in a hybrid format (Online/Kobe University, Japan). For more information see the provisional program and registration.
Arbitration Lab will host the Basel Winter Arbitration School, 6-11 February 2022, at the Law Faculty of the University of Basel (Switzerland). The curriculum includes UNCLOS arbitration. Applications are welcome until 15 November 2021. For more information see here.
The academic journal Marine Policy launched a Special Issue Call for Papers entitled ‘MSP in Europe: Impacts of the EU MSP Directive’. The focus is on the practical experiences of Member States in implementing the Directive and also on the wider transnational and policy context that is shaping MSP in Europe and the intentions of the MSP Directive itself. Deadline for submission of papers is 15 December 2021. More information is available here.
The European Society of International Law (ESIL) is hosting its 17th Annual Conference, themed, In/Ex-clusiveness of International Law, 1-3 September 2022, at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. The main conference will be preceded by various workshops organised by the Society’s Interest Groups, 31 August-1 September 2022. Abstracts are welcome until 31 January 2022. For more information see here.
The Supreme Court of New Zealand (SCNZ) decided (30 September 2021) to uphold previous High Court and Court of Appeal decisions quashing consents granted by the Decision Making Committee (DMC) of New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Agency that would have allowed mining company Trans-Tasman Resources Limited (TTR) to extract up to 50 million tonnes per annum from the South Taranaki Bight seabed (Case number  NZSC 127).
Among other issues of domestic law, SCNZ found that in considering the effect of the Treaty of Waitangi to the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012, the DMC should have taken into account the effects of the proposed activity on existing interests adding that tikanga-based customary rights and interests constitute “existing interests” (…) including kaitiakitanga and rights claimed, but not yet granted, under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011. The court considered that the proposed activity in terms of tikanga may indicate that material harm extends beyond the physical effects of a discharge, or that pollution can be spiritual as well as physical.
A press release with further details on the case Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd v Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board is available here.
This year’s World Maritime Day, themed, Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future, will include various webinars on 30 September 2021. IMO shall host a webinar, entitled, Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future; UNCTAD and ITF shall host a webinar, entitled, The Crewing Crisis: Seafarers concerns in times of the pandemic and beyond; and AIS Forum shall host a webinar, entitled, Connecting Maritime Governance with the Achievement of the SDGs in Archipelagic and Island States.
On 22 September 2021 the Alliance of Small Islands (AOSIS), during a virtual AOSIS Leaders’ Summit, endorsed The Alliance of Small Islands Leaders’ Declaration 2021. The Leaders’ Declaration focuses on climate change, sustainable development and the ocean. This includes recognising states’ ocean-related responsibilities (preamble), the existing impacts of climate change on SIDS (para. 3), concerns over GHG emissions from shipping and the need for action (para. 15), the BBNJ Agreement process (paras. 39-40), fixed baselines and outer limits of maritime zones – once given due publicity (para. 41), marine plastic pollution –and more generally the need for a new legally binding global agreement on plastic pollution– (paras. 42-43) and enhancing technology transfer, scientific knowledge and recognition of traditional knowledge (para. 44).
The University of Aberdeen will host a conference, entitled, International Law and Technological Progress Conference 2022, 23-24 June 2022, in a hybrid format. Several law of the sea topics are included in the call, and one could envisage further suitable topics. Abstracts are welcome until 20 December 2021. For more information see here.
On 20 September 2021 Ecuador submitted, in respect of three regions, its Preliminary information indicative of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). For more information see here.
Rajah & Tann LLP, Fietta LLP, Duxton Hill Chambers, David Grief International Consultancy and the University of Sydney shall host a webinar, entitled, The Ever-Expanding Remit of UNCLOS Tribunals, 6 October 2021, via Zoom. for more information see here.
The previously reported monthly webinars, MARIPOLDATA Ocean Seminar Series, hosted by the MARIPOLDATA research project, has released their programme for September 2021 – January 2022. The next event, entitled, Deep-Sea Mining and the International Seabed Authority: Recent Developments, key outstanding issues and contrasting narratives is scheduled for 29 September 2021. For more information see here.
Independent International Legal Advocates (IILA), together with the Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) Seminar at UCLA Law and the International Arbitration Group of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher LLP, will host a seminar, entitled, Reconceptualizing the “Spaces” of International Law, 28 September 2021, via Zoom. For more information see here.
The Maritime Security Research Group in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra is currently advertising a PhD candidate position, including scholarship, entitled, Small States and Climate Change Litigation under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Application are welcome until 15 October 2021. For more information and how to apply see here.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) passed a motion on 7 September 2021 calling for a moratorium on deep seabed mining and a halt to the International Seabed Authority’s (ISA) issuing of new contracts for mining and for exploration of mining sites until certain conditions are met. Those conditions include conducting rigorous and transparent scientific research and impact assessments to comprehensively understand the environmental, social, cultural, and economic damage that mining could cause, and ensuring the effective protection of the marine environment. More information is available in the IUCN Motion 069.
The S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) and the Embassy of Japan shall host a webinar, entitled, International Law and Rule of Law Approach in the Indo-Pacific Region, 28 September 2021, via Zoom. For more information see here.
The Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security (ANCORS) at the University of Wollongong (Australia) is currently seeking applicants for a postdoctorate position, entitled, ANCORS Ocean Nexus Fellow, funded by the Nippon Foundation’s Ocean Nexus Program. Applications are welcome until 14 October 2021.
For more information see here.
The 15th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference (NESS) shall be hosted on 7-9 June 2022 at the School of Global Studies, Gothenburg, Sweden. The theme of this year’s edition is emergency and transformation. Two deadlines are open: submitting workshops by 1 October, 2021 and submitting abstracts for workshop papers by 15 December, 2021. One of the panels is specifically devoted to ocean governance, and many others allow for marine/maritime themes as well. More information is available here.
The 2021 revision of the Maritime Traffic Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China (Order No. 79 of the President of the People’s Republic of China) entered into force on 1 September 2021. This Order was issued on 29 April 2021, and it introduces new reporting requirements on foreign vessels entering China’s territorial seas. The reporting requirements apply to the following vessels:
- nuclear powered vessels;
- ships carrying radioactive materials;
- ships carrying bulk oil, chemicals, liquefied gas and other toxic and harmful substances;
- other vessels that may endanger the maritime traffic safety.
The Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations is currently advertising two positions within the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS), entitled, (1) Senior Legal Officer and (2) Associate Legal Officer. Applications are welcome until 29 September 2021 and 13 October 2021, respectively.
The Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (NUS) will host a book launch, entitled, Marine Plastic Pollution and the Rule of Law, 20 October 2021, online (Zoom). For more information see here.
The governments of Antigua and Barbuda and of the United Kingdom (UK) have signed on 27 July 2021 an agreement defining Antigua and Barbuda’s maritime jurisdiction. The agreement sets out the boundary between Antigua and Barbuda and Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory. The waters of Antigua and Barbuda border those of Anguilla (UK) to the northwest, Saint Barthélemy (France) to the northwest, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis to the west, Montserrat (United Kingdom) to the southwest, and Guadeloupe (France) to the southeast. With this new treaty, the Antigua and Barbuda has delimited three of its five maritime boundaries. Only the boundaries with St Kitts and Nevis and Monserrat remain to be negotiated. More information is available at the Commonwealth homepage (here) and at the social media webpage of HM Governor’s Office in Anguilla (here).
The next session of the International Law Association (ILA) Mochtar Memorial Lecture Series, entitled, Mochtar and The Law of the Sea – How Indonesia Became An Archipelagic State, will take place 9 September 2021, via Zoom.
For more information see here.
On 23 August 2021 Chile promulgated amendments to Decree 95: Determina Las Áreas Jurisdiccionales Marítimas Nacionales Desde Punta Puga A Islas Diego Ramírez (source), adding reference to the outer limit of the continental shelf and including a map. On 28 August 2021, Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship issued Press Release 344/21 (source) objecting to this claim and seeking resolution through dialogue.
The Faculty of Social Sciences (Department of Political Science) of the University of Vienna (Austria) is opening a position for a Post-Doctoral Researcher. The successful candidate will work in an interdisciplinary research team within the ERC project “The Politics of Marine Biodiversity Data: Global and National Policies and Practices of Monitoring the Oceans (MARIPOLDATA)” . Deadline for application is 31 October 2021. More information is available here.
The Faculty of Law at Universität Hamburg is currently advertising two research assistant positions (50%), both with an application deadline of 23 August 2021. The first position concerns the project, entitled, TestArtUp – Road Testing Ocean Artificial Upwelling. The second position concerns the project, entitled, GEOSTOR: Submarine Carbon Dioxide Storage in Geological Formations under the German North Sea.
The International Association for the Law of the Sea (AssIDMer) will celebrate its 20th Anniversary with a book publication, entitled, The Evolution of the Law of the Sea: Celebrating AssIDMer’s 20th Anniversary. Proposal abstracts are welcome until 30 November 2021 in french or english.
For more information, including the list of thematic areas for contributions, see here.
The Jean Monnet Chair on International and European Law of the Sea (IELoS) shall host a webinar, entitled, The Exclusive Economic Zone: Recent Italian Legislation and Current International Practice, 3 September 2021, via MS Teams.
As part of The Road to COP 26/CMA 3 Preparatory Lecture Series (Feb – Oct 2021), The National University of Singapore-Centre for International Law, The University of Durham Law School and The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) shall host a webinar entitled, Streamlining the Ocean into COP 26 and Beyond, 26 August 2021, via Zoom.
For more information see here.
The Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS) will host a webinar, entitled, Will the US Accede to UNCLOS? Should it?, 25 August 2021, via Zoom. For more information and registration see here.
As previously reported, in May 2021 Switzerland and Nigeria concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) providing for the immediate release of the M/T “San Padre Pio” vessel and the eventual discontinuance of The M/T “San Padre Pio” (No. 2) Case (Switzerland/Nigeria) proceedings. Subsequently, in June 2021 ITLOS Order 2021/3 fixed 9 September 2021 as the date for the opening of the oral proceedings. As communicated by Switzerland, proceedings will be terminated under the MoU “only from the moment that the M/T ‘San Padre Pio’ enters the high seas, or the territorial sea or Exclusive Economic Zone of another State” (Order 2021/4, para 7). Furthermore, Switzerland states “the M/T ‘San Padre Pio’ is currently not in a state allowing it to swiftly depart from Nigeria […] remains uncertain when and under what conditions the vessel might be able to depart” and therefore requested “in view of the ongoing implementation of [the MoU] […] the opening of the oral proceedings be postponed until a later date towards the end of fall 2021” (Order 2021/4, paras 5-7). Nigeria did not respond to indicate its views on postponement (Order 2021/4, para 9). The President of the Tribunal, having regard to the special circumstances and views of the Parties (see in particular: Articles 69(2)(c)-(d) and 69(3) of the Rules of the Tribunal) thus:
Decides to postpone the opening of the oral proceedings until a later date to be fixed after consultations with the PartiesOrder 2021/4 of 10 August 2021
On 6 August 2021 the leaders at the Fifty-First Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) made a declaration entitled, Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of Climate Change-related Sea-Level Rise. The declaration recalls the principles of legal stability, security, certainty, predictability, equity, fairness, justice and good faith that underpin UNCLOS and their relevance in the interpretation and application of UNCLOS in the context of sea-level rise and climate change.
The PIF leaders:
Affirm that the Convention imposes no affirmative obligation to keep baselines and outer limits of maritime zones under review nor to update charts or lists of geographical coordinates once deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations,PIF, Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of Climate Change-related Sea-Level Rise (6 Aug 2021)
Record the position of Members of the Pacific Islands Forum that maintaining maritime zones established in accordance with the Convention, and rights and entitlements that flow from them, notwithstanding climate change-related sea-level rise, is supported by both the Convention and the legal principles underpinning it,
Declare that once having, in accordance with the Convention, established and notified our maritime zones to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, we intend to maintain these zones without reduction, notwithstanding climate change-related sea-level rise,
Further declare that we do not intend to review and update the baselines and outer limits of our maritime zones as a consequence of climate change-related sea-level rise, and
Proclaim that our maritime zones, as established and notified to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in accordance with the Convention, and the rights and entitlements that flow from them, shall continue to apply, without reduction, notwithstanding any physical changes connected to climate change-related sea-level rise.
For more information see here.