On 25 March 2021, pursuant to the Statute of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Article 16, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has amended the Rules of the Tribunal (2020 Edition), namely Articles 4-7, 11-13, 16, 19, 31, 36, 39, 42, 45, 76 and 136 (entered into force, 25 March 2021). ITLOS/Press 314 confirms the Rules were amended “with a view to rendering them gender inclusive”. Therefore, references to “he” are now preceded by “she or”, and references to “him” or “his” are now preceded by “her or”. Where possible, “he” is replaced by an office title, such as the President (Article 45) or the Registrar (Article 136). ITLOS does not however have competence to amend the references to he/his/him in the Statute (Article 41, amendments).
For more information see the Amendments (25 March 2021). Note, the differences in language require slightly difference amendments to the french text, Amendments (25 Mars 2021).
The Chinese Society for the Law of the Sea is organizing another edition of its International Law of the Sea Moot Court Competition. This year it will be hosted by the Wuhan University China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies and it is scheduled to take place on 23-24 October 2021 in Wuhan, China. This competition simulates proceedings under Part XV of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Court of Justice or an Annex VII Arbitral Tribunal. Registration deadline is 20 May 2021. More information is available here.
The University of Gothenburg is hosting a conference entitled Bioprospecting, Biodiversity and Novel Uses of Marine Resources – New approaches in international law. This conference aims to enable a discussion among legal academics on the implications for international law of these novel uses of marine resources in four thematic areas: 1) governance perspectives, 2) areas beyond national jurisdiction, 3) contracts, information and genetic resources, and 4) regional perspectives. This event is set to happen online, 30 March 2021. More information is available here.
By letter dated 11 March 2021, the Agent of Kenya in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya) informed the ICJ that Kenya would not be participating in the hearings, including the reasons for its non-participation. Kenya requested “the opportunity to address the ICJ orally before the commencement of the hearings” and enclosed a 175 page ‘Position Paper’ “for consideration by the Judges even as the hearing proceeds without Kenya’s participation”. Somalia opposed both requests and the ICJ “[h]aving considered the views of the Parties, the Court decided not to grant either of the two requests made by Kenya”. Despite Kenya’s non-participation, hearings proceed on 15-24 March 2021 and the ICJ “has available to it the Counter-Memorial and Rejoinder filed by Kenya, as well as multiple volumes of materials that were produced by Kenya”.
For more information see the Verbatim record 2021/2.
Closing date is 1 May 2021 with the Center for International Law and Governance (CILG) at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen (Denmark), for a 3-year postdoctoral position on international climate change law and maritime transport. The position is part of the research project International Law-Making: Actors in Shipping and Climate Change (InterAct). InterAct aims to provide an account of the actors involved in the international law-making processes addressing climate change impacts of shipping, elucidating about their role and the incentives, barriers, interactions and synergies for sustainable shipping. Specifically, InterAct focuses on market-based measures and the energy transition for international maritime transport, and the regulation of shipping in the Arctic. More information on this postodoctoral position is available here.
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Center for International Studies and Research (CERIC) shall host a webinar, entitled, The fight against plastic pollution in international, European and comparative law, 24 March 2021, online. The event of part of the 4th Monaco Ocean Week, held 22-28 March 2021.
For more information see here.
The Department of Law at University of Gothenburg shall host a conference, entitled, Revisiting Trade, Transport, and Marine Law: Risk and Technology in Perspective, 18 March 2021, online. For more information and registration see here.
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre shall host a symposium, entitled, The 15th Anniversary of ReCAAP, 18 March 2021, online. For more information see here and ReCAAP.
Proceedings were instituted (5 March 2021) before the International Court of Justice by way of a Special Agreement between the Gabonese Republic and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, which was signed in 2016 and entered into force in March 2020. In the Special Agreement, the Parties request the Court “to determine whether the legal titles, treaties and international conventions invoked by the Parties have the force of law in the relations between the Gabonese Republic and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in so far as they concern the delimitation of their common maritime and land boundaries and sovereignty over the islands of Mbanié/Mbañe, Cocotiers/Cocoteros and Conga”. Further information here.
CNA is hosting a virtual conference entitled High Seas Resources, Ocean Security, and the Great Powers. This will be a discussion about the legally binding instrument on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) currently under negotiation at the UN and its security implications. The event takes place on 24 March 2021. More information available in this flyer and in this announcement.