Monthly Archives: October 2021

Vacancy: Legal Advisor to FFA

The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) is advertising for a full-time Legal Advisor, to be based in Honiara (Solomon Islands). Applications close 8 November 2021. For more information see here.

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Vacancies: Four Malaysia-Australia Maritime Exchange Virtual Fellowships

The Malaysia Institute of Australian National University has announced four DFAT-funded Malaysia-Australia Maritime Exchange Virtual Visiting Research Fellowships, to begin January 2022 and address “research on key maritime issues of interest to Australia, Malaysia and the Southeast Asian region”. This includes two Malaysian-based Fellows (to be hosted virtually by an Australian Institution) and two Australian-based Fellows (to be hosted virtually by a Malaysian institution). Applications are welcome until 30 October 2021. For more information and to apply see here.

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USA: federal ballast water discharge standards adopted in California

California State Lands Commission adopted regulatory amendments that will implement the federal ballast water discharge standards of the United States of America (USA) for vessels arriving at California ports. These changes will become effective on 1 January 2022.

The State rules apply to vessels over 300GT that are capable of carrying ballast water. The ballast water management requirements address vessels arriving in California Waters from a port or place outside the Pacific Coast Region and vessels arriving in California Waters from a port or place within the Pacific Coast Region, with ballast water from the Pacific Coast Region. The Pacific Coast Region (PCR) comprises the waters within 200nm of land on the Pacific Coast of North America east of 154°W longitude and north of 25°N latitude, excluding the Gulf of California.

The Commission’s press release dated 15 October 2021 is here. A brochure from the Commission’s Marine Invasive Species Program (MISP) with a summary of the regulatory changes is available here. A commentary published by marine insurance company North P&I on these measures is available here.

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Events: Conflits d’usage en mer

The Centre d’Études et de Recherches Internationales et Communautaires (CERIC) and the Institut du Droit Economique de la Mer (INDEMER) are organizing a colloquium on conflicts of use at sea, focusing on the conciliation of human activities in European waters. The event takes place on 18-19 November 20201 at the Law Faculty of the Université d’Aix Marseille. The programme is available here; registration is mandatory.

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Symposium: Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific – Upholding the Rule of Law

The Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) and the Embassy of Japan in Malaysia will host a symposium, entitled, Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific: Upholding the Rule of Law, 8-10 November 2021, online (Zoom). For more information see here.

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Webinar: Le implicazioni dell’innalzamento del livello del mare sul diritto internazionale

The Interdepartmental Research Center on the Adriatic and the Mediterranean of the University of Macerata (CiRAM) will host a webinar, entitled, Le implicazioni dell’innalzamento del livello del mare sul diritto internazionale/Les implications de l’elevation du niveau de la mer pour le droit international, 12 November 2021, online (Blackboard Collaborate). For more information see here and the programme.

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Webinars: Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships & UNCLOS

The NUS Centre for International Law is hosting a series of webinars on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the first webinar, entitled, MASS and the Marine Environment, will take place 27 October 2021, online (Zoom). For more information see here.

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Call for Evidence: UNCLOS – fit for purpose in the 21st century?

The International Relations and Defence Committee of the UK Parliament is undertaking an inquiry into the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), entitled, UNCLOS: fit for purpose in the 21st century?, including a call for written evidence concerning a series of questions posed by the Committee. Written evidence at this stage is welcome until 12 November 2021. The first oral evidence session will also take place 20 October 2021 and may be watched online.

For more information see the call for evidence.

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Guest Lecture: The Dispute Settlement Regime in UNCLOS

The NUS Centre for International Law eAcademy 2021 shall host a guest lecture, entitled, The Dispute Settlement Regime in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, 20 October 2021, Online (Facebook). For more information see here.

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Brazil: immunity of Germany waived in case of fishing boat attacked by submarine in 1943

The Supreme Federal Court (STF) of Brazil upheld the appeal of family members of a fisherman who want the Federal Republic of Germany to compensate them for his death in 1943, when a fishing boat was sunk by a German submarine off the Brazilian coast. By majority vote, the STF established the thesis that unlawful acts committed by foreign States in violation of human rights do not enjoy immunity from jurisdiction in Brazil. Reference: (ARE) 954858.

The attack on the fishing boat Changri-lá killed ten fishermen in July 1943, during World War II, in Brazilian territorial sea, near Cabo Frio (RJ). In 2001, the Maritime Court officially recognized that the cause of the wreck was the torpedoing of the vessel by a German U-199 submarine, leading the grandchildren and widows of one of the fishermen’s grandchildren to file, in 2006, an action for compensation for material and moral damages. In the first instance, the action for reparation was dismissed without a resolution on the merits. The family appealed to the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), but the appeal was not admitted based on the jurisprudence of that Court, which prevents the foreign State from being held liable for an act of war.

A press release from the STF is available here and the judgment (in Portuguese), which was made public on 24 September 2021, can be read here.

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Moot Court: NILOS Moot Court Competition 2022

The Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS) has announced the third edition of the NILOS Moot Court Competition, with the international rounds scheduled to take place from 9-13 May 2022, online. The Competition Case is expected to be published 15 October 2021 and team registration (free of charge) is open until 15 December 2021. Registration for judges is expected to open soon.

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Events: Sea-level rise: what are the implications for international law?

The law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is hosting a seminar on sea level rise, discussing the implications for international law. The event is set to happen online on 26 October 2021; information on the panellists and registration form can be found here.

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OSPAR: Designation of North Atlantic Current and Evlanov Sea basin Marine Protected Area

On 1 October 2021, OSPAR held a hybrid ministerial meeting hosted by the Government of Portugal (postponed from June 2020 due to the pandemic), the outcomes of which included a legally binding OSPAR Decision to establish the North Atlantic Current and Evlanov Sea basin Marine Protected Area (NACES MPA). The NACES MPA (595,196 square km) is established in the high seas and seeks to protect a vitally important area for seabirds. For more information see here and here.

For other developments at OSPAR Ministerial 2021, including the adoption of the North-East Altantic Environment Strategy 2030, see here.

Source: OSPAR Commission, NACES MPA

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ICJ: Somalia v. Kenya judgment on the merits delivered

The International Court of Justice has delivered on 12 October 2021 its Judgment in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya). The Court found that there was no agreed maritime boundary between the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Republic of Kenya and proceeded to determine the course of that maritime boundary. The Court also rejected the claim made by the Federal Republic of Somalia concerning the allegation that the Republic of Kenya, by its conduct in the disputed area, had violated its international obligations. The judgment may be found here.

Sketch-map No. 13: Course of the maritime boundary. Source: Summary 2021/3

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Conference: Irregular Migrations in Europe – A Perspective from the Sea Basins

The Jean Monnet Network on Migration and Asylum Policies Systems shall host a conference, entitled, Irregular Migrations in Europe: A Perspective from the Sea Basins, 22 October 2021, in a hybrid format (MS Teams/University of A Coruña, Spain). For more information see here.

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Conference: 14th Polar Law Symposium

The Polar Cooperation Research Centre (Kobe University, Japan), Polar Law Institute (University of Akureyri, Iceland), the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law – Arctic Centre (University of Lapland, Finland) and the University of the Arctic and its Arctic Law Thematic Network (Finland) shall co-host the 14th Polar Law Symposium 2021, themed, The Blue Earth, from the Poles, through the Law, 21-23 November 2021, in a hybrid format (Online/Kobe University, Japan). For more information see the provisional program and registration.

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Basel Winter Arbitration School

Arbitration Lab will host the Basel Winter Arbitration School, 6-11 February 2022, at the Law Faculty of the University of Basel (Switzerland). The curriculum includes UNCLOS arbitration. Applications are welcome until 15 November 2021. For more information see here.

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Webinar: Responsibility to the International Community for Marine Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction

The Cambridge International Law JournalLauterpacht Centre for International Law Annual Lecture 2020-2021, entitled, Responsibility to the International Community for Marine Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdiction, will be held 29 October 2021, online (Zoom). For more information see here.

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Calls: Impacts of the EU MSP Directive

The academic journal Marine Policy launched a Special Issue Call for Papers entitled ‘MSP in Europe: Impacts of the EU MSP Directive’. The focus is on the practical experiences of Member States in implementing the Directive and also on the wider transnational and policy context that is shaping MSP in Europe and the intentions of the MSP Directive itself. Deadline for submission of papers is 15 December 2021. More information is available here.

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Calls: In/Ex-clusiveness of International Law

The European Society of International Law (ESIL) is hosting its 17th Annual Conference, themed, In/Ex-clusiveness of International Law, 1-3 September 2022, at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. The main conference will be preceded by various workshops organised by the Society’s Interest Groups, 31 August-1 September 2022. Abstracts are welcome until 31 January 2022. For more information see here.

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New Zealand: Supreme Court upholds decision to quash consents to seabed mining

The Supreme Court of New Zealand (SCNZ) decided (30 September 2021) to uphold previous High Court and Court of Appeal decisions quashing consents granted by the Decision Making Committee (DMC) of New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Agency that would have allowed mining company Trans-Tasman Resources Limited (TTR) to extract up to 50 million tonnes per annum from the South Taranaki Bight seabed (Case number [2021] NZSC 127).

Among other issues of domestic law, SCNZ found that in considering the effect of the Treaty of Waitangi to the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012, the DMC should have taken into account the effects of the proposed activity on existing interests adding that tikanga-based customary rights and interests constitute “existing interests” (…) including kaitiakitanga and rights claimed, but not yet granted, under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011. The court considered that the proposed activity in terms of tikanga may indicate that material harm extends beyond the physical effects of a discharge, or that pollution can be spiritual as well as physical.

A press release with further details on the case Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd v Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board is available here.

The South Taranaki Bight (STB) showing the Sediment Model Domain (SMD) (oblique black rectangle). The approximate project area is shown in red and the 12 NM boundary of the Territorial Sea is shown in yellow. Source: SC 28/2020 [2021] NZSC 127, page 128.

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