The Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance shall host a roundtable, entitled, The Ocean’s Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, 1st May 2018, at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK). This event is part of the 2018 Festival of Environmental Law and Governance.
For more information and registration see here. A further One Ocean Hub workshop may be of interest, but is invitation only. To express interest, see here.
The China-Nordic Research Center (CNARC) is organizing the another China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium, following previous years experience. The event will take place in Tromsø, Norway on 23-25 May 2018. The theme of this year’s edition is “Integrated Ocean Management in the Arctic”, focusing on overarching issues such as knowledge building, governance challenges, and science-governance interplay. The event will be comprised of three sessions, one on Fisheries Management in Arctic Waters, one on Marine Pollution, and one on Climate Change, Maritime Governance and Sustainability in the Arctic. More information about this event is available here.
The Rotterdam District Court has condemned a shipping company for the illegal export of ships for scrapping. A set of related decisions dated 15 March 2018 has led to the company Seatrade being fined, and to a temporary professional ban issued against two of its executives. The Dutch public prosecutor considered as facts the sales of ships for demolition in India, Bangladesh and Turkey in 2012. One of the justifications for these decisions has been that the “harmful consequences of scrapping ships on the beaches of India and Bangladesh, in particular for the environment and health, are far-reaching.” (translated from the Dutch: “De schadelijke gevolgen van het slopen van schepen op de stranden van met name India en Bangladesh voor milieu en gezondheid, zijn verstrekkend”). These decisions were taken on the basis of Regulation (EC) Nr. 1013/2006 on the shipment of waste, which prohibits EU member-states from exporting hazardous waste to countries outside the OECD. The court interpreted Recital 35 of that Regulation, which states that “[i]t is necessary to ensure the safe and environmentally sound management of ship dismantling in order to protect human health and the environment” as encompassing ships of all flags fall under its scope. The cases may be found in the list below:
The ITLOS-Nippon Foundation Capacity-Building and Training Programme on Dispute Settlement underUNCLOS, July 2018 – March 2019, to be held at ITLOS (Hamburg, Germany), is now open for applicants until 20 April 2018.
The Arctic Futures Institute of the Center for Oceans & Coastal Law of the University of Maine School of Law has announced the Arctic Summer Institute 2018. The theme of this year’s Summer Institute is Arctic Law, Science and Policy. The goal of the course is to provide students with the inter-disciplinary knowledge base and the tools to practically and responsibly participate in Arctic affairs. Course topics will include: Arctic Science; Law of the Sea; Maritime Shipping; Geographic Information Systems; Maritime History; Indigenous Peoples; North Atlantic Trade; Governance and Environmental Regulation; Geopolitics/Maritime Security and Arctic Public Engagement. The course is set to occur on June 18-22, 2018 in Portland, Maine (USA). Registration deadline is May 15, 2018. More information can be found here.
The Istanbul Center of International Law (ICIL) shall host the 2nd Edition of its Summer Academies of International Law (SAIL), 16-28 July 2018, at Istanbul Zaim University (Istanbul, Turkey). Week 1 will address “Air and Space Law”, whilst week 2 covers “Law of Sea”. You may apply to either individual week, or the whole program. Applications are accepted until 31 May 2018.
The Ocean Yearbook annual competition for students writing research papers on “marine affairs” is open to submissions until 13 May 2018. The Student Prize 2018 will include publication in a subsequent issue of the Ocean Yearbook. A definition of maritime affairs is included in the call.
For more information on eligibility and submissions, see here.
The International Ocean Institute (African Region) shall host its Training Programme in Ocean Governance for Africa, 3 – 28 September 2018, at IOISA (Capte Town, South Africa). Applications are welcome until 13 April 2018.
The President of Brazil has approved on 19 March 2018 the creation of environmentally protected areas surrounding two of its archipelagos, including the creation of two natural monuments (as per Art. 12 of Law No 9.985 of 18 July 2000). The Decree No 9.312 creates the environmental protection area of the Tridade e Martim Vaz archipelago, creating also the natural monument of the Trindade e Martim Vaz islands and of the Columbia mount; it may be found here (in Portuguese). The Decree Nº 9.313 creates the environmental protection area of the São Pedro e São Paulo archipelago, creating also the natural monument of the São Pedro e São Paulo archipelago; it may be found here (in Portuguese). Whilst economic activities, such as sustainable fisheries, will be allowed within the environmental protection areas, the natural monuments will be areas of “integral protection”. The protected areas encompass the archipelagos’ Exclusive Economic Zones (c. 40 million hectares each). The protection of these areas will allow Brazil to accomplish Goal 11 of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
The Centre de Droit Maritime et Océanique of the University of Nantes, will be hosting a seminar entitled “Oceanic Prospectives and Challenges”. The objective is to discuss High Seas biodiversity, climate change, as well as the perspectives of the emerging international legal framework. It will also consider the legal framework on the environmental liability elaborated by coastal States or the International Seabed Authority. The event is set to happen on 28 March 2018 at the ‘Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Ange Guépin’ in Nantes, France. The programme is available here. More information may be found here.
The “Centro de Derecho del Mar” of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso School of Law will host a seminar entitled “La Solución de Controversias y el Futuro Derecho del Mar” (Dispute Settlement and the Future Law of the Sea). The event is set to occur on 21 April 2018 in Valparaíso, Chile. More information is available here.
The European Commission (Task Force for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50 TEU) has published on 19 March 2018The Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. The document highlights the progress made in the negotiation round with the UK of 16-19 March 2018, with reference to a previous draft of 28 February 2018 (available here). As stated by the UK’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, there has been an agreement on “specific safeguards when it comes to annual fishing negotiations”, adding that through 2020 the UK “will be negotiating fishing opportunities as an independent coastal state, deciding who can access our waters and on what terms”. The Draft Agreement may be found here.
The 2018 programme of the Hague Academy of International Law, Centre for Studies and Research, entitled, International Inspections, will take place 20 August – 7 September 2018. Fields of interest include the law of the sea (e.g. fisheries inspections) and applications are welcome until 31 March 2018.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, also known as the TPP11) was signed by 11 states, 8 March 2018, in Santiago, Chile. The agreement retains the contents of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but includes 20 agreed suspensions, mainly in the area of intellectual property. The annexed Joint Ministerial Statement by CPTPP signatories, “expressed their determination to complete their domestic processes to bring the Agreement into force expeditiously”. Without claiming to be exhaustive, Chapter 20, Environment, is of interest to the law of the sea given its inclusion of ship-source pollution and marine capture fisheries.
On the 2 March 2018, the Russian Government signed the directive (Распоряжение от 2 марта 2018 года №352-р) establishing the Novosibirsk Islands Federal Nature Sanctuary. Found within the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the sanctuary covers “the Novosibirsk Islands Archipelago and adjoining waters (a section of inland sea and the territorial sea of the Russian Federation with a width of 12 nautical miles adjoining the territory of the Novosibirsk Islands Archipelago)”. This is in accordance with Federal Law of March 14, 1995 No. 33-FZ “On Specially Protected Natural Territories”.
The International Association for the Law of the Sea (AssIDMer) welcomes applications for its Prix Daniel Vignes (2ème Edition), “a prize for the best article published in a journal or a collective work, to disseminate knowledge of the international law of the sea”, until 15 April 2018.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, which does not have diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cyprus, has objected (11 February 2018) to the “Greek Cypriot Administration’s hydrocarbon-related activities in the Eastern Mediterranean” which are said to be “in disregard of the inalienable rights on natural resources of the Turkish Cypriot people, who are the co-owners of the Island”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has stated (13 February 2018) that “as long as the Greek Cypriot side continues to take unilateral steps that disregard our legitimate rights over the Island’s natural resources” it would take “reciprocal steps”. The President of the Republic Cyprus has reaffirmed (21 February 2018) that its intentions are to “to fully explore and exploit the hydrocarbon potential in its exclusive economic zone”.
This exchange follows the issuance by the Turkish Naval Force of a NAVTEX message which prevented a ENI-owned drillship from accessing Block 3 due to military training set to occur in the area. The Cyprus Joint Rescue Coordination Center has responded (27 January 2018) with another NAVTEX message, which described Turkey’s activity as “unauthorised and illegal”. The President of the European Council has meanwhile referred (23 February 2018) to “Turkey’s illegal violations in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the Aegean” and reiterated support for “the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources”. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece also criticised (6 March 2018) Turkey’s position, saying that Turkey “cannot pursue an aggressive foreign policy, not respecting international law and choosing to ignore or circumvent the Law of the Sea”.
Cyprus offshore exploration blocks. Source: Republic of Cyprus, Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism (Twitter)
The Legal Service of the Council of the European Union issued its opinion, 1 March 2018, Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC – compatibility with UNCLOS, ST 6738 2018 INIT. The opinion states that:
“The Union does not have jurisdiction to apply energy law on unbundling, transparency, third-party access and regulated tariffs, which is unrelated to the economic exploitation of the EEZ, to pipelines crossing the EEZ of Member States. The application of the Gas Directive to the EEZ would be contrary to Articles 56 and 58 of UNCLOS as interpreted by the Court of Justice” (para. 21).
For more information, see the opinion here. Reference to the opinion was made during an EC press briefing, available here.
The Brazilian Institute for the Law of the Sea (IBDMAR), in partnership with the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), shall host their first ITLOS moot court competition, Republic of Disali Vs. Kingdom of Brismania, 2-4 August 2018, at the Federal University of Bahia (Salvador, Bahia, Brazil). Registration is open until 1 June 2018.
Following previous coverage (here), Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Timor-Leste’s Deputy Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Boundary Delimitation, signed the Treaty Between Australia and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste Establishing Their Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea,6 March 2018, at the United Nations Headquarters. The agreement may be found here.
For further information, see the respective press releases of Timor-Leste (2), Australia (2) and the PCA. A video of the proceedings is available here.
Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea. Source: Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, adopted 15 October 2010, entered into force 5 March 2018 with 41 contracting parties. The instrument provides for rules and procedures on liability and redress for damage resulting from transboundary movements of living modified organisms. Article 2(2)(b) defines “damage” to biodiversity.