The United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea in cooperation with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO is hosting a seminar entitled Strengthening the Science-Policy Interface for Ocean Sustainability.
The objective of this webinar is to raise awareness of the importance of the science-policy interface for ocean governance at all levels, showcase links between the science-policy interface and society including ocean users, and reinforce the understanding of the role of citizen science, as well as traditional, indigenous and local knowledge in strengthening the science-policy interface. This event takes place on 1 March 2021. Pre-registrationa and programme can be found here.
Closing date for expressions of interest and applications is 14 May 2021 with the University of Tasmania (Australia) for a PhD position on governance solutions to plastic pollution in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. This project examines the plastic pollution problem in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean regions, the current governance measures for dealing with plastic pollution through the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), and other broader global governance arrangements. The candidate will investigate the effectiveness of the global governance systems in place that address plastic pollution. More information is available here.
The Centre for Environmental Law (Macquarie University) shall host its first Biodiversity Law and Governance Webinar Series, entitled, Law & Nature Dialogues, February-June 2021, online. The inaugural lecture will be held on 22 February 2021, entitled, The evolution and challenges in China’s implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
For more information see the Law & Nature Dialoguesprogramme. Registration for the inaugural lecture may be found here.
The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) shall host a webinar, entitled, Launch of the report ‘Stronger together: The role of regional instruments in strengthening global governance of marine plastic pollution’, 17 February 2021, online.
For more information see here, and the aforementioned report here.
The University of Ankara (Turkey) informs that candidates may apply to the “Türkiye Scholarship Program” for DEHUKAM Master’s (LLM) / PhD Program in the Sea and Maritime Law. This program offers scholarships to students from all over the world to study in Turkey. Closing date for applications is 20 February 2021. More information is available here; the brochure of the program is available here.
The Brazilian Institute for the Law of the Sea (BILOS) shall host an event, entitled, Seminar on the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), 25 February 2021, online (IBDMAR BILOS YouTube). The event will be in Portuguese.
On the 27 January 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Committee decided two parallel proceedings, brought against Italy and Malta respectively, concerning their response to a vessel in distress in the Mediterranean Sea and the obligations of Italy and Malta under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The delayed action and failed search and rescue operation of 11 October 2013 were found to have contributed to the deaths of over 200 people estimated to be on board the vessel.
In CCPR/C/130/DR/3042/2017 the Committee considered that the individuals on the vessel in distress were subject to Italy’s jurisdiction for the purposes of the Covenant because ‘a special relationship of dependency had been established between the individuals on the vessel in distress and Italy’ (paras 7.1-7.8). Italy failed to demonstrate it met its due diligence obligations under Article 6(1) of the Covenant (paras. 8.1-8.5) and its duty to conduct a prompt investigation of the allegations relating to a violation of the rights to life under Article 6(1), read in conjunction with Article 2(3) of the Covenant (paras. 8.6-8.7). Three dissenting opinions were attached, namely by Yuval Shany, Christof Heyns and Photini Pazartzis; Andreas Zimmermann; and David Moore. Four concurring opinions were attached, namely by Gentian Zyberi; José Santos-Pais; Vasilka Sancin; and Hélène Tigroudja.
In CCPR/C/128/D/3043/2017 the Committee considered that Malta exercised effective control over the rescue operation as the vessel in distress was located in the Maltese Search and Rescue area (referring to UNCLOS, SAR Convention, and SOLAS) and Malta had formally accepted to assume the coordination of the rescue efforts (paras. 6.5-6.7). However, the authors of the communication failed to exhaust available domestic remedies, meaning the communication was inadmissible (paras. 6.8-6.9). Three dissention opinions were attached, namely by Andreas Zimmermann; Gentian Zyberi, Arif Bulkan and Duncan Muhumuza; and Hélène Tigroudja.
The Centre for Maritime Research (MARE) is hosting its 11th People & the Sea Conference. This year’s edition has the theme “Limits to Blue Growth?” and aims to contribute to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Deadline for panel, paper proposals and other conference formats is 12 February 2021. More information on the various conference streams can be found here.
The International Foundation for the Law of the Sea (IFLOS) shall host the fourteenth session of the IFLOS Summer Academy, 1-27 August 2021, at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Hamburg, Germany). Applications are welcome until 30 April 2021.
The ITLOS – Nippon Foundation Capacity-Building and Training Programme on Dispute Settlement underUNCLOS, 19 July 2021 – 31 March 2022, to be held at the seat of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Hamburg, Germany), is welcoming applications until 5 April 2021.
WWF and TRAFFIC, in collaboration with the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, shall host a webinar, entitled, Asia Dialogue on Responses to Wildlife Trafficking in Maritime Transport, 9 February 2021, online. For more information see here, registration here.
The Exeter Centre for International Law shall host a roundtable, entitled, Perspectives on the recent ITLOS case between Mauritius and the Maldives, 12 March 2021, online. For more information see here.
The British Institute for International and Comparative Law (BIICL) shall host a Webinar Series entitled Rising Sea Levels: Promoting Climate Justice through International Law. In this seminar series, the BIICL will look at rising sea levels as a global problem and the legal issues arising from it from the lens of international law and climate justice.
The schedule goes as follows: Webinar 1: Rising Sea Levels & International Law: The role of the International Law Commission (ILC) (3 March 2021); Webinar 2: Rising Sea Levels: A Matter for the ICJ? (11 March 2021); Webinar 3: Rising Sea Levels: Climate Displacement as a Human Right Violation (17 March 2021); Webinar 4: Rising Sea Levels: Climate Change Litigation before Domestic Courts (24 March 2021). Registration is open here.
The Federal Parliament of Belgium adopted (16 January 2021) Resolution 55 1687 on deep seabed mining. This resolution requests the Belgium Government to 1) support fundamental scientific research and data collection for further knowledge of the deep sea and for the protection of existing marine ecosystems, and 2) to continue to respect environmental legislation and the precautionary principle when developing possible exploitation rules for deep-sea mining to preserve the biodiversity of marine ecosystems. Resolution 55 1687 may be found here (in French and Dutch).
Monmouth University Institute for Global Understanding (IGU) and Urban Coast Institute (UCI) shall host their latest Global Ocean Governance Lecture Series event, entitled, Global Perspectives on Adapting Marine Shipping Governance and Maritime Sovereignty to Respond to Climate Change, 19 February 2021, online.
The Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) formed to deal with the Dispute concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Mauritius and Maldives in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius/Maldives) delivered on 28 January 2021 its Judgment on the Preliminary Objections raised by the Maldives. The Special Chamber concluded that “it has jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the dispute concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary between the Parties in the Indian Ocean and that the claim submitted by Mauritius in this regard is admissible” (paragraph 351). For further information see here.
The Stockton Center for International Law (SCIL) at U.S. Naval War College is hosting an online seminar entitled The Ongoing Dispute between Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea. The panelists will explore the current legal perspectives of the maritime dispute between Ukraine and Russia, borne out of an incident in November 2018 in which Russia challenged Ukraine’s access to the Sea of Azov and freedom of navigation through the Kerch Strait. The panel will also examine the ongoing Permanent Court of Arbitration case filed by Ukraine against Russia in 2016, and the potential implications for coastal state rights under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The event is set to happen on 10 February 2021. Further information and access instructions is found here or here.
The School of Law (University of Essex) shall host its Essex Public International Law Lecture Series, including, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea – Upholding the Rule of Law at Sea, 8 March 2021, online.
The Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (University of Cambridge) will host its Friday lecture series, including, Climate change and the law of the sea: A test for international law, 19 February 2021, online.
The Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (UC Berkeley School of Law) shall host the 2021 Harry & Jane Scheiber Lecture in Ocean Law & Policy, entitled, The Law of the Sea: A Multi-Faceted Discipline and a Promising Field for Practitioners, 4 February 2021, online.
Concerning Gibraltar, the Government of Gibraltar announced on 31 December 2020 that it had reached an in principle agreement with the UK and Spain for a proposed framework for a UK-EU Agreement on Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU.
The Asian Society of International Law shall host its 8th Biennial Conference and PhD Students Workshop, entitled, What Place for International Law in the Asian Future?, 20-29 May 2021, online. The law of the sea is a key topic for discussion, but numerous other proposed topics are directly relevant to the law of the sea and its institutions. Abstracts are welcome until 15 February 2021.
The twenty-fifth session of the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy has been rescheduled to 4-23 July 2021. The deadline to submit an application is 12 April 2021. For more information, fees and application documents please see here.
The Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University of London (United Kingdom) is looking to appoint a Lecturer or Senior Lecturer in Shipping Law. The selected applicant will be required to teach in the areas of shipping law. This includes ability to teach in Law of the Sea and Navigational Freedoms and Practice. Closing date for applications is 6 February 2021. More information is available here.
The Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) is currently advertising a 6-month paid internship (35 hrs/week, January-June 2021) to support IDDRI’s Ocean Team research on ocean governance and marine conservation. Depending on the health situation, the intern will work from home and/or at IDDRI’s offices (Paris, France). Applications are welcome until 22 January 2021.
On 27 December 2020, in accordance with Articles 5, 7, 8, 10, 13 and 14 of UNCLOS, Presidential Decree No. 107 applies closing lines to the listed bays (Article 2 and Table) and further straight baselines (Article 3 and Table) in the maritime area of the Ionian and the Ionian islands up to Cape Tainaro in the Peloponnese. According to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an extension of the territorial sea will be forthcoming as the baselines are “a necessary step in the process for extending the country’s territorial waters in the above-mentioned area”.
While limited in application to the Ionian Sea, Article 1(3) of Presidential Decree No. 107 provides that “The Hellenic Republic reserves the right to exercise its respective rights in the other regions of its Territory, as they derive from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982, which reflects customary international law”.
The International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) welcomes submissions for its 2021 Virtual Plenary, themed, Beyond the Global Pandemic – The Critical Role of Submarine Cables, to be held online 19-20 May 2021. Abstracts may be submitted online until 12 February 2021.
The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) reports that on 16 December 2020 the Republic of Costa Rica and the Republic of Ecuador jointly submitted information on the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured in the Panama Basin. According to the submitting States, this is a partial submission. The consideration of the joint submission will be included in the provisional agenda of the fifty-fourth session of the CLCS. Upon completion of the consideration of the submission, the CLCS shall make recommendations. More information is available here.
The outer limit of the continental shelf of Costa Rica and Ecuador beyond 200 nautical miles in the Panama Basin (yellow line). Source: Executive Summary of the Joint Partial Submission to the CLCS
United Kingdom charity Human Rights at Sea is recruiting New Members for its Board of Trustees. The role is for experienced and professional Trustees, which shall fill the remaining posts on the Board in preparation for international work in 2021 and beyond. The selected applicant is expected to be an “active ambassador” to the cause of defending human rights at sea. This is a pro bono role. More information is available here.
The Singapore Cooperation Programme, under the auspices of the Japan-Singapore Partnership Programme for the 21st Century (JSPP21), shall host an online course, entitled, Climate Change and Law of the Sea, 11-15 January 2021. Nominations (mid- to senior-level government officials who work on issues related to the Law of the Sea) from eligible countries are welcome until 21 December 2020.
The Institute of International Legal Studies at the University of the Philippines (UP-IILS) accepts submissions of papers for the Asia-Pacific Journal of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Research on Naval Warfare or on IHL and Law of the Sea is explicitly accepted. In order to qualify for submission, an article must either be authored by someone from, or based in, the Asia-Pacific region or, alternatively, be about the Asia-Pacific region. The deadline is 10 January 2021. More information is available here.
The Government of the United Kingdom (UK) has announced the creation of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the waters around its Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha (13 November 2020). This MPA is set to become the largest fully protected marine reserve in the Atlantic Ocean, at 687,000 square kilometres. The research leading to this declaration was supported by the UK’s Blue Belt Programme. More information is available here.
Associazione di Consulenza in Diritto del Mare (ASCOMARE) launched a call for papers for Volume I (“Law of the Sea and Definitions”) of its Yearbook on the Law of the Sea (YLoS). Contributions are sought in respect of articles examining the content and legal scope of undefined terms of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other related instruments. The call also appreciates papers assessing the historical and evolutionary meaning of such terms against the backdrop of State practices and international case-law. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 30 January 2021. More information is available here.
South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will host its Fifth International Conference on the Law of the Sea, entitled, Regional Cooperation and Marine Environment Protection under UNCLOS, 3-4 December 2020, online.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) shall convene the SEA of Solutions 2020 Conference, themed, Wasting less plastic and keeping it out of the ocean – Has the needle moved?, 24-26 November 2020, online.
As previously suggested, on 22 August 2020 Russia did exercise its right to submit preliminary objections in the Dispute Concerning the Detention of Ukrainian Naval Vessels and Servicemen (Ukraine v. the Russian Federation), PCA Case No. 2019-28, contending that the Arbitral Tribunal does not have jurisdiction. Ukraine and Russia disagreed upon whether these preliminary objections are of “an exclusively preliminary character” that may result in bifurcation of the proceedings (Rules of Procedure, Art 11(3)). On 27 October 2020 the Arbitral Tribunal (UNCLOS, Annex VII) issued its Procedural Order No. 2, whereby:
THE ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL HEREBY ORDERS:
1. The Arbitral Tribunal considers that the Preliminary Objections of the Russian Federation appear at this stage to be of a character that justifies having them examined in a preliminary phase, and in accordance with Article 11, paragraph 3, of the Rules of Procedure, decides that the Preliminary Objections of the Russian Federation shall be addressed in a preliminary phase of these proceedings.
2. The proceedings on the merits are hereby suspended.
3. In accordance with paragraph 5(t) of Procedural Order No. l, Ukraine shall file any observations on the Preliminary Objections of the Russian Federation within three months of the date of this Order. Following receipt of these observations, the Arbitral Tribunal will decide whether any further written submissions are needed and, after consultation with the Parties, the time limits for such submissions.
4. If the Arbitral Tribunal, in delivering its award in the preliminary phase of the proceedings in accordance with Article 11 , paragraph 7, of the Rules of Procedure, declares that a Preliminary Objection does not possess an exclusively preliminary character, then, in accordance with Article 11, paragraph 3, of the Rules of Procedure, that Objection shall be ruled upon in conjunction with the merits.
The Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI) at the University of Southampton (UK) seeks to recruit up to 3 future-looking visionary researchers with strong interests in the oceans and the desire and ability to undertake multidisciplinary research. Law is one of the possible fields for applicants. This is for a full time fixed term (2 years) position. Deadline for applications is 27 November 2020. More information is available here.
The Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) is hosting a webinar entitled “Strengthening Monitoring control and surveillance through a High Seas Treaty”. The event takes place 17 November 2020. Simultaneous Spanish-English interpretation will be available. Registration is open here.
The non-exhaustive list of matters for the Fisheries Dialogue includes fisheries, aquaculture, fish processing and the wider supply chain, broader marine conservation, scientific cooperation and mutual support in international fora (e.g. RFMOs) (Paragraph 1). Non-state actors may be involved, most notably in fostering private sector or scientific cooperation (Paragraphs 2, 5). The Fisheries Dialogue shall meet at least annually (Paragraphs 3-4). The MoU will come into effect on 1 January 2021 (Paragraph 7).
The Framework Fisheries Agreement applies to the EEZ (or variations thereof) and, subject to domestic ratification, will enter into force 1 January 2021 (Article 11). The Agreement applies only to metropolitan UK and only to the Faroes Islands (Article 10).
The Government of Norway submit a proposal (6 November 2020) to ban ships from using heavy fuel oil (HFO) near Svalbard archipelago. The Ministry of Climate and the Environment aims to legislate a requirement for fuel for motor traffic at sea in the entire territorial waters of Svalbard. The provision is designed as a ban on using or having on board other petroleum-based fuel than natural gas and marine gas oil. A more detailed definition of natural gas and marine gas oil is proposed to be included in regulations on motor traffic on Svalbard. The proposal includes a transition period of two years for general cargo traffic to Longyearbyen and Barentsburg. The need for transitional arrangements will be reassessed after the ongoing consultation stage (see here, deadline 6 February 2021). More information is available here (in Norwegian).