Monthly Archives: August 2022

Call for Papers: Black Sea Maritime Security Symposium

The NATO Maritime Security Centre of Excellence (NATO MARSEC COE) will host a conference, entitled, Black Sea Maritime Security Symposium, 28–29 November 2022, at MARSEC COE (Istanbul, Türkiye). Abstracts are welcome until 30 September 2022. For more information see here and the call.

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Compilation of textual proposals for consideration at fifth session of IGC on BBNJ Agreement

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.

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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.

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Vacancies: Research Associate at IASS Potsdam

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.

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Courses: International Maritime and Transport Law

The Inter University Centre of Dubrovnik (Croatia) is hosting a course entitled International Maritime and Transport Law Transport Law De Lege Ferenda. The course takes place 5-9 September 2022. Applications are open here; more information is available here and in the course program.

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Vacancy: Research Fellow at University of Wollongong

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.

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Daniel Vignes Prize (4th Edition)

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.

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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).

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China: Military Exercises and Training Activities Around Taiwan Island

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.

Notice authorized to be released by Xinhua News Agency

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Call for Abstracts: Sustainability in the Sea

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.

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