Monthly Archives: January 2020

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.

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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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