ITLOS: The M/T “San Padre Pio” (No. 2) Case (Switzerland/Nigeria), Order 2021/4

As previously reported, in May 2021 Switzerland and Nigeria concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) providing for the immediate release of the M/T “San Padre Pio” vessel and the eventual discontinuance of The M/T “San Padre Pio” (No. 2) Case (Switzerland/Nigeria) proceedings. Subsequently, in June 2021 ITLOS Order 2021/3 fixed 9 September 2021 as the date for the opening of the oral proceedings. As communicated by Switzerland, proceedings will be terminated under the MoU “only from the moment that the M/T ‘San Padre Pio’ enters the high seas, or the territorial sea or Exclusive Economic Zone of another State” (Order 2021/4, para 7). Furthermore, Switzerland states “the M/T ‘San Padre Pio’ is currently not in a state allowing it to swiftly depart from Nigeria […] remains uncertain when and under what conditions the vessel might be able to depart” and therefore requested “in view of the ongoing implementation of [the MoU] […] the opening of the oral proceedings be postponed until a later date towards the end of fall 2021” (Order 2021/4, paras 5-7). Nigeria did not respond to indicate its views on postponement (Order 2021/4, para 9). The President of the Tribunal, having regard to the special circumstances and views of the Parties (see in particular: Articles 69(2)(c)-(d) and 69(3) of the Rules of the Tribunal) thus:

Decides to postpone the opening of the oral proceedings until a later date to be fixed after consultations with the Parties

Order 2021/4 of 10 August 2021

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