Monthly Archives: January 2020

UK: Fisheries Bill (HL) 2019-2020 First Reading

On 29 January 2020 the UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity) introduced to the House of Lords the Fisheries Bill (HL Bill 71). As previously reported, the bill was first introduced during the last parliament in the House of Commons. As set out in the Explanatory Notes (HL Bill 71):

Since the Bill was most recently considered in the last Parliament, the Government has included additional provisions: a single set of UK-wide fisheries objectives (including a new climate change objective); a duty to create fisheries management plans to fish at sustainable limits for all stocks; and a broadening of the grant making power. The Bill also provides further powers for the Welsh and Scottish Governments that reflect a number of those granted to the Secretary of State, and a change to the commencement provisions (para. 3).

Of particular interest for international fisheries law is the climate change objective (clause 1(1)(h), 1(9)) and the fisheries management plan obligations (clauses 6-9).

For further information see the Human rights memorandum and the previous white paper, Sustainable fisheries for future generations. Progress of the Bill may be followed here.

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Vacancy: research position at the University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania (Australia) accepts expressions of interest and applications for the project Evaluation of governance and economic measures to prevent and deter Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing. This interdisciplinary project will evaluate the effectiveness of economic and policy tools that governments and international organisations utilise to deter and prevent IUU fishing in national jurisdictions and on the high seas. It will examine issues that exacerbate the IUU fishing problem such as vessels flying flags of convenience, the transshipment of catches, and links to organised transnational criminal activities.

Closing date is 31 March 2020. The vacancy can be found here.

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Conference: Maritime Law & Policy Postgraduate Research

The London Universities Maritime Law and Policy Research Group will host the 11th Maritime Law & Policy International Postgraduate Research Conference, 3 April 2020, at City, University of London (London, UK). Details for submitting abstracts is forthcoming.

For further information see here.

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Call for Papers: Environmental Crimes

The Common Good Foundation, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, The Center for World Indigenous Studies, The Jersey Law Commission, and The Resolution Journal, shall host the 2nd Environmental Crimes Conference, 1-2 October 2020 in Saint Helier (United Kingdom). Abstracts are welcome until 6 March 2020.

For more information see here.

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Singapore/Malaysia: Sub-Committee to Commence Negotiations on Maritime Boundary Delimitation of Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge

The eighth meeting of the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Technical Committee (MSJTC) on the Implementation of the International Court of Justice Judgment on Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge was held 21 January 2020 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The outcomes of the meeting include:

“The Meeting further agreed for the Sub-Committee on Maritime Boundary Delimitation of Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge to commence negotiations.”

For further information see the Joint Press Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Singapore and Malaysia respectively.

The MSJTC is a cooperative process established to implement the 2008 ICJ Judgment (Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge (Malaysia/Singapore)). See further the discontinued Request for Interpretation of the Judgment of 23 May 2008 in the case concerning Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge (Malaysia/Singapore) (Malaysia v. Singapore).

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Call for abstracts: Sustainable Ocean Project

The Sustainable Ocean Project is holding its final conference on 3-4 September 2020 in Utrecht (the Netherlands). This project has been dealing with the following overarching research question since 2015: how can the law contribute to the sustainable use of the oceans and strike a balance between competing interests at sea? 

The conference will be structured around four interrelated themes:

  1. Due diligence as obligation and/or balancing standard;
  2. Balancing principles in international law interpretation;
  3. The role of regionalism in the accommodation of multiple interests;
  4. The role of state consent and the participation of other actors in international law-making and law implementation.

Abstracts are accepted until 30 March 2020. More information is available here.

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Call for Papers: Solidarity in the Context of Natural Resources Management

The ESIL Interest Group on International Environmental Law shall host an event at the 2020 ESIL Research Forum, entitled, Solidarity in the Context of Natural Resources Management, 23 April 2020 at the University of Catania (Catania, Italy). Track I may be of interest to law of the sea scholars. Abstracts are welcome until 14 February 2020.

For more information see the call for papers.

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Conference: Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction – Where are we and where to next?

For further information and registration (fees apply) see here.

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Call for Papers: Beyond National Jurisdiction

The American Society of International Law, the Australia and New Zealand Society of International Law, the Canadian Council on International Law, and the Japanese Society of International Law shall host the Eighth International Four Societies Conference, entitled, Beyond National Jurisdiction, 16-17 June 2020, at UC Berkeley School of Law (Berkeley, USA). Applications are welcome until 31 January 2020.

For more information (including membership requirements) see the call for abstracts.

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UK/USA: agreement concerning the Shipwrecked Vessel RMS Titanic enters into force

The agreement concerning the Shipwrecked Vessel RMS Titanic signed by the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA) has entered into force. This treaty was signed in 2003 by the United Kingdom, but was only accepted by the United States of America on 18 November 2019. Among other obligations, the treaty posits that

Each Party shall take the necessary measures, in respect of its nationals and vessels flying its flag, to regulate through a system of project authorizations:

(a) entry into the hull sections of RMS Titanic so that they, other artifacts and any human remains are not disturbed; and
(b) activities aimed at the artifacts from RMS Titanic found outside the hull of the wreck so that all such activities are, to the maximum extent practicable, conducted in accordance with the Rules.

This treaty strengthens the basic level of protection for the wreck afforded by UNESCO since 2012. Lying in international waters, the wreck was previously not protected by explicit legislation. The text of the treaty can be found here. More information is available here.

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Conference: The 25th UNCLOS Anniversary Seminar

The Universitas Indonesia Faculty of Law shall host a conference, entitled, The 25th UNCLOS Anniversary Seminar, 5-6 February 2020, at Aryaduta Hotel (Jakarta, Indonesia).

For more information and RSVP see here.

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Call for Papers: Contemporary Challenges of International Environmental Law

The University of Ljubljana Faculty of Law shall host a conference, entitled, Fourth Contemporary Challenges of International Environmental Law Conference, 20-21 April 2020, at the University of Ljubljana (Ljubljana, Slovenia). Abstracts for papers and posters are welcome until 30 January 2020. Numerous suggested topics could be addressed from a law of the sea perspective.

For further information see here.

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Conference: 12th International Forum on IUU Fishing

Chatham House shall host a forum, entitled, 12th International Forum on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, 19 March 2020 at Chatham House (London, UK).

For further information and registration see here.

Update 12/05/2020: This event is now a series of webinars 18-22 May 2020. See here.

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Call for Papers: AsianSIL Regional Conference 2020 & Junior Scholars’ Conference 2020

The Nepalese Society of International Law and the Nepal Chapter of AsianSIL shall host the Regional Conference of the Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL) 2020, entitled, Power and the Development of International Law: Asian Perspectives, on the 6 June 2020 in Kathmandu (Nepal). The Junior Scholars’ Conference 2020, entitled, New Challenges in International Law, will be held 5 June 2020 in Kathmandu (Nepal). A non-exhaustive list of topics is included in the call for papers, including numerous law of the sea interests. Abstracts are welcome until 15 February 2020.

For more information see the call for papers.

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Indonesia: Diplomatic protests following Chinese activities in Natuna waters

On the 30 December 2019 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia formally protested against Chinese vessels allegedly involved in IUU fishing activities in Indonesia’s EEZ (referred to by Indonesia as the ‘North Natuna Sea’), as well as the presence of a Chinese Coast Guard vessel. Indonesia’s response included summoning the Chinese Ambassador to Jakarta and submitting a diplomatic memorandum of protest.

The Indonesian position repeated its rejection of the Chinese ‘nine-dash line’, reiterated China’s obligations to comply with both UNCLOS (as a state party) and the South China Sea Arbitration Award (UNCLOS, Annex VII, Article 11; South China Sea Arbitration Award, Paragraph 1200) and reiterated Indonesia’s position that Indonesia does not have any overlapping jurisdiction with China in the South China Sea. On 1 January 2020subsequent statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia rejected the claims by China to historic maritime waters as without legal basis, as well as any Chinese references to ‘relevant waters’ as unrecognized in UNCLOS. “Indonesia Urges the People’s Republic of China to explain the legal basis and clear boundaries regarding the claims of the PRC in [the South China Sea] based on UNCLOS 1982” (Paragraph 3 [in Indonesian]).

In November 2015 a Chinese spokesperson stated “[t]he Chinese side has no objection to Indonesia’s sovereignty over the Natuna islands”. To date, in response to the December 2019 incident a Chinese spokesperson (31 December 2019; 2 January 2020) has repeated its general position on the South China Sea without further detail.

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