The foreign policy communiqué of the Group of 7 (G7), published 4th June 2014, covers an item of particular interest to the law of the sea:
Maritime Navigation and Aviation
16. We reaffirm the importance of maintaining a maritime order based upon the universally-agreed principles of international law. We remain committed to international cooperation to combat piracy and other maritime crime, consistent with international law and internationally recognised principles of jurisdiction in international waters. We are deeply concerned by tensions in the East and South China Sea. We oppose any unilateral attempt by any party to assert its territorial or maritime claims through the use of intimidation, coercion or force. We call on all parties to clarify and pursue their territorial and maritime claims in accordance with international law. We support the rights of claimants to seek peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including through legal dispute settlement mechanisms. We also support confidence-building measures. We underscore the importance of the freedom of navigation and overflight and also the effective management of civil air traffic based on international law and International Civil Aviation Organization standards and practices.
It is available here.
The Arbitral Tribunal in the case brought by the Republic of the Philippines against the People’s Republic of China under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“the Convention”), has issued its second Procedural Order, establishing the next steps in the timetable for the arbitration. This follows the second meeting of the Members of the Arbitral Tribunal, held at the Peace Palace in The Hague on 14 and 15 May 2014. In accordance with the Tribunal’s first Procedural Order dated 27 August 2013, the Philippines filed its Memorial on 30 March 2014, addressing matters relating to the jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal, the admissibility of the Philippines’ claim, as well as the merits of the dispute. In Procedural Order No. 2, the Arbitral Tribunal fixes 15 December 2014 as the date for China to submit its Counter-Memorial responding to the Philippines’ Memorial. The Arbitral Tribunal will determine the further course of the proceedings, including the need for, and scheduling of any other written submissions and hearings, at an appropriate later stage, after seeking the views of the Parties. More information on the case here and here.
Ministers from participating States in the Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden (the Djibouti Code of Conduct) have recognized the need to develop a mechanism for the region to run its own counter-piracy agenda, following the successful implementation by IMO of numerous projects aimed at improving regional capacity to counter piracy by developing enhanced regional cooperation and coordination. More information on this agreement can be found here.