The ANU Centre for International and Public Law, the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation and the Attorney General’s Department will host a book launch for C. Goodman, Coastal state jurisdiction over living resources in the exclusive economic zone‘ (Oxford University Press, 2021), 22 September 2022, at the ANU College of Law. For more information see here.
Monthly Archives: August 2022
The Faculty of Law (University of Oslo) will host the next seminar in their seminar series (Delimitation agreements, Sovereignty, and Jurisdiction Claims: Current Trends, Recent Cases and Future Perspectives), entitled, Elon Musk and the Law of the Sea, 5 September 2022, in a hybrid format (UIO/Zoom). For more information see here.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) adopted the Supplementary Act on the Conditions of Transfer of Persons Suspected of Having Committed Acts of Piracy and Their Associated Property and / or Evidence. This adoption was decided at the 61st Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on 3 July 2022, in Accra, Ghana. According to the ECOWAS communiqué, the purpose of this initiative is to further strengthen the gains made in securing the region’s maritime domain from acts of piracy. The Act serves to facilitate the transfer of piracy suspects and the associated property and/or evidence to member states with the appropriate legal framework to ensure ‘legal finish’ with the prosecution of piracy, while ensuring compliance with applicable international human rights law, including the treatment of suspected or transferred persons, as well the inclusion of provision on death penalty to safeguard that no transferred person or persons are subjected to death sentence for acts of piracy. More information is available in a press release from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
On 26 August 2022 the Commission of Small Island Developing States on Climate Change and International Law (current composition: Antigua and Barbuda, Tuvalu and Palau; previously reported) met virtually, including conferral with 14 appointed international experts and advisors (ACOSIS, Art. 2(3)) and approval of their recommendations in a “plan of action that is being developed”. COSIS may consider and request an advisory opinion from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ACOSIS, Art. 2(2)), but during the meeting COSIS decided to also express full support (ACOSIS, Arts 1(3), 2(1)) for the separate Vanuatu initiative to Seek an ICJ advisory opinion on climate change through a UN General Assembly request (previously reported). Finally, three COSIS working groups were established (ACOSIS, Art. 3(4)) to “advance the objectives of the Commission”. The focus of each working group is not defined, although 3 thematic topics are evident when reading ACOSIS Arts 1(3) and 2(1). For more information see the COSIS Press Release (2).
On 7 July 2022 the FAO Technical Consultation on Voluntary Guidelines for Transshipment adopted the Draft Voluntary Guidelines for Transshipment (Appendix E of the Draft Report of the Technical Consultation on Voluntary Guidelines for Transshipment (FAO Doc. COFI/2022/INF/10). The Voluntary Guidelines will be presented to the Thirty-Fifth Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries, 5-9 September 2022, for endorsement, after which they will become an international instrument under the FAO’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries framework. For more information see the FAO Press Release.
The Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations (“OLA/DOALOS”), is welcoming applications for the 2023 session of the United Nations – The Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programme, held approximately March – December 2023. It is intended that 14 Fellowships will be offered for the 2023 session. Applications are welcome until 14 September 2022. For more information see the call and here.
A High Risk Area (HRA) in the Indian Ocean was designated by bodies representing the shipping industry in 2010 (BMP 5). Since then, various amendments to the extent of the area were made and in 2021 the IMO was informed that further revisions would occur, including development of a more dynamic threat assessment process (IMO Doc. MSC 104/8/2). On 22 August 2022 the IMO was informed by a co-authored submission (ICS, BIMCO, OCIMF, INTERTANKO, INTERCARGO and IMCA) that the Indian Ocean High Risk Area will be withdrawn on 1 January 2023 to reflect the the improved piracy situation in the region (IMO Doc. MSC 106/INF.10). The UKMTO Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) appears to be, as yet, unchanged.
The 2022 London Conference on International Law, themed, States in Emergency – International Law at a Time of Reckoning, will be held 10-11 October 2022 at the QEII centre (London, UK). Panel 6 will address jurisdiction and enforcement at sea. For more information see here.
The Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is advertising a postdoctoral position (24 months) in the Ocean Infrastructure Group. Applications are welcome until 1 October 2022. For more information see here.
Japan: Approval to install treated water discharge facility at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
On 22 July 2022, Pursuant to the Act on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Nuclear Reactors, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan approved the installation of an Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) treated water discharge facility at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. However, as clarified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan:
“[T]his does not mean that TEPCO can immediately start the discharge of the ALPS treated water into the sea. Before doing so, remaining processes, such as NRA’s Pre-Service Inspections to check and confirm the installation status of the discharge facilities, will continue. The discharge of the ALPS treated water into the sea will not start until after these steps are duly taken. The IAEA will continue to conduct its independent review throughout, including while these steps are taken, and the Government of Japan will carefully consider the findings and observations from the IAEA’s review”MOFA Japan, https://www.mofa.go.jp/press/release/press4e_003146.html
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Maritime University (WMU) will host a conference, entitled, Protecting the Ocean – Moving forward at 50: London Convention & Stockholm Declaration, 10-13 October 2022 in Malmö (Sweden) (partially hybrid). For more information see here.
On 2 August 2022 the Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL) announced the launch of a new blog, entitled, AsianSIL Voices: the Blog of the Asian Society of International Law, which is now accepting unsolicited contributions. For more information and instructions for contributors see here.
The Centre for Blue Governance (CBG) at Aalborg University (Denmark) has opened two academic positions. One position is for a postdoctoral researcher in marine affairs and arctic studies. Deadline for applications is 15 August 2022 (see here). The other position(s) is for assistance professor in diverse blue governance areas, which may include ecosystem-based marine management, EU marine policies, citizen science and biodiversity, maritime transportation, and policies on emerging blue economy sector. Deadline for applications is 15 September 2022 (see here).
The Centre for International Law (CIL) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) of the University of Wollongong shall host the 2022 edition of their workshop, Maritime Boundary Delimitation: The Interplay between Geography and International Law, 6-8 December 2022, at NUS (Singapore). For more information see here.
On 22 July 2022 Ukraine, the Republic of Türkiye, and the Russian Federation signed the Initiative on the safe export of foodstuffs and fertilizers, including ammonia, from Ukrainian ports (Black Sea Grain Initiative). The United Nations, represented by the UN Secretary-General, also signed as a witness. The text of the Black Sea Grain Initiative does not appear to be public, but as the Procedure for Merchant Vessels (August 2022) para. 3 details, the “purpose of this Initiative is to facilitate the safe navigation for the export of foodstuffs and fertilizers, including ammonia from the Ports of Odesa, Chernomorsk (Chornomorsk) and Yuzhny (Pivdennyi) (the Ukrainian ports)”. Within their scope of application, the rules of procedure apply as conditions of port entry or departure for said ports. On 27 July 2022 a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) was officially inaugurated in Istanbul, comprising representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Türkiye and the United Nations to facilitate the implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The JCC “will monitor the movement of commercial vessels to ensure compliance with the initiative; focus on exporting bulk commercial grain and related food commodities only; ensure the on-site control and monitoring of cargo from Ukrainian ports; and report on shipments facilitated through the initiative”. As of 11 August 2022, it appears that 12 vessels have thereby departed Ukrainian ports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative following the unlawful use of force by Russia (UNGA Resolution ES-11/1 Aggression against Ukraine) and the impact of the conflict on grain and agricultural exports. According to a Russian Statement, the Black Sea Grain Initiative will run for 120 days, with options to renew by 120 days with the agreement of all parties.
Concurrently, on 22 July 2022 Russia and the United Nations signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Federation and the United Nations on promoting the access of Russian food products and fertilizers to world markets. According to a Russian Statement, the MoU on Russian exports of agricultural products will remain valid for 3 years.
For more information see the JCC website.
Accompanying the previously reported Further Revised Draft Text of A BBNJ Agreement, the President of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) invited delegations to submit by 25 July 2022 textual proposals for consideration at the fifth session. The secretariat (DOLAS) was requested to produce a compilation of proposals received by that deadline (A/CONF.232/2022/5, para 12). On 1 August 2022 DOLAS released an article-by-article compilation (A/CONF.232/2022/INF.5), entitled, Textual proposals submitted by delegations by 25 July 2022, for consideration at the 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 (the Conference), in response to the invitation by the President of the Conference in her Note of 1 June 2022 (A/CONF.232/2022/5).
For more information see the documents page for the fifth substantive session.
CJEU: Judgment in Joined Cases C-14/21 and C-15/21 (Sea Watch v Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Transporti)
On 1 August 2022 the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered a Judgment in the Joined Cases C-14/21 and C-15/21 (Sea Watch eV v Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti and Others). The case concerned the division of powers between port states and flag states under EU law (Directive 2009/16; Italian domestic transposition (Legislative Decree No 53/2011)) and international law (UNCLOS; SOLAS; SAR Convention; IMO Resolution A.1138(31) and customary international law) in the context of Italia’s port state control of a German flagged cargo ships purported to be “systematically carrying out activities relating to the search for and rescue of persons at sea”. Law of the sea scholars may wish to consult the full text of the Judgment to view the Court’s interpretations of law of the sea instruments, in particular concerning the duty to render assistance at sea, as well as the interpretation of port state control under SOLAS and IMO Resolution A.1138(31) – which may have comparative application to other IMO and ILO conventions which utilise similar provisions, or fall under similar IMO guidance via IMO Resolution A.1138(31).
The operative part of the Judgment (para 160, emphasis added) held:
1. Directive 2009/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on port State control, as amended by Directive (EU) 2017/2110 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2017, must be interpreted as:
– applying to ships which, although classified and certified as cargo ships by the flag State, are in practice being systematically used by a humanitarian organisation for non-commercial activities relating to the search for and rescue of persons in danger or distress at sea; and
– precluding national legislation ensuring its transposition into domestic law from limiting its applicability only to ships which are used for commercial activities.
2. Article 11(b) of Directive 2009/16, as amended by Directive 2017/2110, read in conjunction with Part II of Annex I to that directive, as amended, must be interpreted as meaning that the port State may subject ships which systematically carry out search and rescue activities and which are located in one of its ports or in waters falling within its jurisdiction, having entered those waters and after all the operations relating to the transhipment or disembarking of persons to whom their respective masters have decided to render assistance have been completed, to an additional inspection if that State has established, on the basis of detailed legal and factual evidence, that there are serious indications capable of proving that there is a danger to health, safety, on-board working conditions or the environment, having regard to the conditions under which those ships operate.
3. Article 13 of Directive 2009/16, as amended by Directive 2017/2110, must be interpreted as meaning that, during more detailed inspections organised pursuant to that article, the port State has the power to take account of the fact that ships which have been classified and certified as cargo ships by the flag State are, in practice, being systematically used for activities relating to the search for and rescue of persons in danger or distress at sea in the context of a control intended to assess, on the basis of detailed legal and factual evidence, whether there is a danger to persons, property or the environment, having regard to the conditions under which those ships operate. By contrast, the port State does not have the power to demand proof that those ships hold certificates other than those issued by the flag State or that they comply with all the requirements applicable to another classification.
4. Article 19 of Directive 2009/16, as amended by Directive 2017/2110, must be interpreted as meaning that, in the event that it is established that ships which are, in practice, being systematically used for activities relating to the search for and rescue of persons in danger or distress at sea, despite having been classified and certified as cargo ships by a Member State which is the flag State, have been operated in a manner posing a danger to persons, property or the environment, the Member State which is the port State may not make the non-detention of those ships or the lifting of such a detention subject to the condition that those ships hold certificates appropriate to those activities and comply with all the corresponding requirements. By contrast, that State may impose predetermined corrective measures relating to safety, pollution prevention and on-board living and working conditions, provided that those corrective measures are justified by the presence of deficiencies which are clearly hazardous to safety, health or the environment and which make it impossible for a ship to sail under conditions capable of ensuring safety at sea. Such corrective measures must, in addition, be suitable, necessary, and proportionate to that end. Furthermore, the adoption and implementation of those measures by the port State must be the result of sincere cooperation between that State and the flag State, having due regard to the respective powers of those two States.Sea Watch eV v Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti and Others, Judgment [160, emphasis added]
For more information see the CJEU Press Release No 138/22.
The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) at Potsdam (Germany) has opened two positions for Research Associate. In one of the positions, the successful applicant will contribute to the project Marine Systems Approaches for Biodiversity Resilience and Ecosystem Sustainability (Marine SABRES) and Sources to Seas – Zero Pollution 2030 (SOS-ZEROPOL2030). More information here. In the other position, the successful applicant will contribute to the project Coherent and Cross-compliant Ocean Governance for Delivering the EU Green Deal for European Seas (CrossGov) and Multi-layer Governance of Marine Policies (PermaGov). More information here. Deadline for application is 29 August 2022.
The Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong (Australia), is currently advertising a postdoc position, Research Fellow, with Pacific Island nationals strongly encouraged to apply. Applications are welcome until 30 August 2022. For more information see here.
The International Association for the Law of the Sea (AssIDMer) welcomes applications for its Prix Daniel Vignes (4th Edition), “a prize for the best article published in a journal or a collective work, to disseminate knowledge of the international law of the sea”. The deadline for applications is 30 November 2022. The prize will be officially awarded during the VIII Ordinary Meeting of the Association in 2023. The call is available here.
Webinar: The Competence of International Courts and Tribunals to Delimit the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 nm
The AsianSIL Law of the Sea Interest Group will host a panel discussion on the recent book ‘The Continental Shelf Delimitation Beyond 200 Nautical Miles: Towards A Common Approach to Maritime Boundary-Making’ (Cambridge University Press 2021), 31 August 2022, 16:30-18:00 (Singapore Time (SGT)), online (Zoom) (Passcode in the Flyer).
On 2 August 2022, China provided notice that it will conduct military exercises and training activities, including live-fire drills, from 4-7 August 2022 in six defined maritime areas and their air space around Taiwan Island. Entry of vessels and aircraft into the above-mentioned sea and air space is prohibited during said period. A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense described the “targeted drills” as ‘countermeasures’ in response to the visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced other sanctions or ‘countermeasures‘ including in a maritime context.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan (R.O.C.) objected to the military exercises and training activities, including the launching of ballistic missiles into waters surrounding Taiwan Island. Japan lodged a diplomatic protest with China as reportedly the first occasion that Japan believes that Chinese ballistic missile have landed in Japan’s EEZ (5 missiles). A Foreign Ministry Spokesperson of China suggested China does not recognise Japan’s EEZ claim until maritime delimitation is completed. The G7 Foreign Ministers issued a Statement on Preserving Peace and Stability Across the Taiwan Strait (3 August 2022) calling for peaceful means, while ASEAN Foreign Ministers issued a Statement on The Cross Strait Development (3 August 2022), calling for maximum restraint, refrain from provocative action and for upholding the principles enshrined in United Nations Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.
MEI (University of Barcelona) and Instituto Salvador de Madariaga de Estudios Europeos (Universidade Da Coruña) will host a conference, entitled, Sostenibilidad en el Mar: Una visión desde la Barcelona Mediterránea, 19 December 2022, at University of Barcelona (Baercelona, Spain). Abstracts in Spanish, Catalan or English are welcome until 21 October 2022. For more information see here and the call.