Pursuant to General Assembly Decision 76/564 (24 March 2022) a fifth session of the intergovernmental conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction will be convened 15–26 August 2022. On differences of opinion among states on whether the fifth session will be the final session to conclude an agreement see here.
The previously reported revised draft text of an agreement prepared by the President of the Conference, and previously reported textual proposals were considered at the fourth session (7-18 March 2022). The President of the Conference was requested to prepare a further revised draft text of an agreement, taking into account (1) the work of the fourth session, (2) delegation proposals in conference room papers during the fourth session, (3) proposals sent up until 31 March 2022. On 30 May 2022 the President of the Conference [Rena Lee (Singapore)] released an advanced version of the further revised draft text, entitled, Further revised draft text of an agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. Delegations are given until 25 July 2022 to submit further textual proposals for consideration at the fifth session of the conference. It is expected the President of the Conference will once again publish a compilation of proposals submitted by the deadline in advance of the opening of the fifth session. Delegations will also be able to submit proposals during the fifth session itself.
The Observatorio para la Gobernanza Marino Costera (Colombia) is hosting a side event at the United Nations Ocean Conference 2022 entitled Marine Justice and Right to Science. The event takes place 30 June 2022, and it shall be held in English with simultaneous translation into Spanish. See program and registration.
The AsianSIL Law of the Sea Interest Group will host an informal discussion on the ICJ’s Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment of 21 April 2022, on 30 June 2022, 16:30-17:30 (Singapore Time (SGT)), online (Zoom) (Meeting ID: 907 705 7650). For further background information, see previous De Maribus reporting.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered judgment on Case C-700/20 (London Steam-Ship Owners’ Mutual Insurance Association Limited v. Kingdom of Spain). This corresponds to a request for a preliminary ruling from the High Court of Justice (England & Wales), Queen’s Bench Division (Commercial Court) (United Kingdom). The case relates to the Prestige sinking, and the CJEU found that arbitration proceedings initiated in the United Kingdom cannot block the recognition of the Spanish judgment ordering the insurer to pay compensation for the damage caused by the oil spill (see previous De Maribus report).
The CJEU held that Regulation No 44/2001 (on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial) must be interpreted as meaning that a judgment entered by a court of a Member State in the terms of an arbitral award cannot prevent, in that Member State, the recognition of a judgment given in another Member State where a judicial decision resulting in an outcome equivalent to the outcome of that award could not have been adopted by a court of the first Member State without infringing the provisions and the fundamental objectives of that regulation, in particular as regards the relative effect of an arbitration clause included in the insurance contract in question and the rules on lis pendens. In doing so, the Court ensures, in essence, that those provisions and fundamental objectives cannot be circumvented by means of arbitration proceedings followed by judicial proceedings seeking to have the terms of the arbitral award entered in a judicial decision.
The judgment (20 June 2022) may be found here and the Opinion of the Advocate General (5 May 2022) is available here. See also the CJEU press release.
The Jean Monnet Chair on International and European Law of the Sea (IELoS) shall host the eight edition of the EULoS Summer School, European Union and the Law of the Sea, 29 August – 9 September 2022, in Genoa, Italy. Applications are welcome on a rolling basis.
For more information see the EULoS website.
The Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), and the Australian Embassy (Viet Nam) shall host the 8th Ocean Dialogue, themed, 40th Anniversary of UNCLOS: Promoting Maritime Cooperation in Southeast Asia, 29 June 2022, in a hybrid format (Ha Noi/Online). For more information see the programme and virtual registration form.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, to be inserted in the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization via an amendment (see previous De Maribus report). The decision to adopt this agreement was reached on 17 June 2022 at the WTO Twelfth Ministerial Conference. The Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies includes rules prohibiting subsidies to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing (Article 3), to the fishing of overfished stocks (Article 4), and to fishing on the high seas outside the control of regional fisheries management organizations (Article 5). See the text of the agreement (reference WT/MIN(22)/W/22). Access the draft text and explanatory note here. Access the chair’s full statement here. See also the press release from the WTO on the “Geneva Package”.
The Governments of Croatia and of Italy have signed on 24 May 2022 an agreement on the delimitation of their exclusive economic zones. See press release from the Government of Croatia and press release from the Government of Italia; see also the text of the agreement, which posits that if a dispute is not settled through direct consultations or negotiations, either Party may submit the dispute to ITLOS, the ICJ or an UNCLOS Annex VII Arbitral Tribunal (see Italian version here).
The 78th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 78) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which convened on 6-10 June 2022, approved the designation of the Mediterranean Sea Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides and Particulate Matter (Med SOx ECA) under regulation 14 of Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The formal designation of the Med SOx ECA will be put forward for adoption at the 79th session of MEPC due to take place on 12-16 December 2022. MEPC 78 granted its approval after considering the joint and coordinated proposal to designate the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, as an Emission Control Area for Sulphur Oxides, which was submitted by all Mediterranean coastal States, along with all Member States of the European Union, and the European Commission. The submission of this proposal was agreed in December 2021 within the framework of the Mediterranean Action Plan of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP/MAP) at COP 22 of the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention). The amendment could enter into force in mid-2024, with the new limit taking effect from 2025. See IMO press release and UNEP press release.
The interdisciplinary Climate Arctic Governance (CArGo) research network welcome proposals for paper and poster presentations at a conference on Transitions in Climate Arctic Governance. The event will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the 16 September 2022. The conference aims to explore the different transitions within Arctic climate governance, which are necessary to address the increasing societal, climate and sustainability challenges the Arctic is facing. The conference will focus on Arctic socio-economic systems and the different legal, political, geographical and cultural regimes at play. In particular, the conference centers around the Arctic governance landscape, paying specific attention to the current geopolitical situation. Further, it will examine the topics of Arctic shipping, climate vulnerability, and natural resources in the Arctic. Deadline to submit proposals is 1 August 2022. More information is available here.
Filed under Calls, Events
The Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, passed on 13 June 2022 the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. This bill revises requirements governing ocean shipping to increase the authority of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to promote the growth and development of U.S. exports through an ocean transportation system that is competitive, efficient, and economical. For example, the bill requires the FMC to (1) investigate complaints about detention and demurrage charges (i.e., late fees) charged by common ocean carriers, (2) determine whether those charges are reasonable, and (3) order refunds for unreasonable charges. It also prohibits common ocean carriers, marine terminal operators, or ocean transportation intermediaries from unreasonably refusing cargo space when available or resorting to other unfair or unjustly discriminatory methods. See the text (reference S.3580) as approved by the U.S. Congress.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, along with the Prime Minister of Greenland, signed on 14 June 2022 an agreement resolving outstanding boundary issues over Tartupaluk/Hans Island, the maritime boundary on the continental shelf within 200 nautical miles, including Lincoln Sea, and the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in Labrador Sea. The present agreement incorporates a tentative agreement from 2012 and establishes a modernized single maritime boundary within 200 nautical miles from Lincoln Sea in the north to Labrador Sea in the south – almost 3,000 km. The agreement also establishes a binding boundary line in the overlapping area of the outer continental shelf, which represents an equitable solution, consistent with article 83 of UNCLOS. See press releases from MFA Canada and MFA Denmark.
Nonprofit engineering environmental organization The Oceans Cleanup has opened an internship position on Global Affairs. The successful candidate is expected to inter alia carry out research on particular points of environmental law related to the Ocean and/or waste management. Closing date for applications is 31 July 2022. More information is available here.
The Centre for International Law (CIL) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) is seeking applications for a Research Associate for a period of two years from candidates with an LLM related to public international law, law of the sea or maritime law and a demonstrable interest in oceans law and policy. The position is hosted by the Oceans Law and Policy Team. Applications close on 15 July 2022. More information is available here.
Law firm Volterra Fietta shall host a seminar entitled Fair and Equitable Deep Seabed Mining. This seminar will address the various issues arising from the fair and equitable distribution of deep seabed mining’s financial and other benefits, including as they pertain to the notion of equitable distribution, the transfer of technology, the Enterprise and the Deep Seabed Mining Code. This event will take place on 16 June 2022; for more information see here.
Law firm Volterra Fietta shall host a seminar entitled Dispute resolution under UNCLOS. This seminar will address various aspects of the UNCLOS dispute resolution system, namely: creativity in such dispute settlement, clarification of the law of the sea through dispute settlement, influencing dispute settlement under UNCLOS, comparisons between the different dispute settlement mechanisms under UNCLOS and how the dispute settlement system might be used to interpret UNCLOS in light of technological developments. This event will take place on 9 June 2022; for more information see here.