In response to a 29 October 2022 attack on Russian Naval assets located in a naval base on the occupied Ukrainian territory of Sevastopol (UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262), Russia declared it will suspend its implementation of the (previously reported) Black Sea Grain Initiative with immediate effect for an indefinite period on the basis “the Russian side can no longer guarantee the safety of civilian dry cargo ships participating in the Black Sea Grain Initiative”. According to the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), “The Russian Federation delegation also expressed its readiness to cooperate remotely on issues that require immediate decision by the JCC”. No agreement on vessel movements in the corridor was reached for 30 October 2022, but, in order to continue fulfilling the Initiative, “it was proposed that the Turkish and United Nations delegations provide [31 October 2022] 10 inspection teams aiming to inspect 40 outbound vessels”, an inspection plan accepted by the Ukraine delegation and informed to the Russian Federation. The “Ukrainian, Turkish and United Nations delegations agreed on a movement plan for [31 October 2022] for the maritime humanitarian corridor of 16 vessels, 12 outbound and 4 inbound”. The Russian delegation was informed of said movement plans. Among others, the UN Secretary General and Türkiye issued statements in response to the Russian suspension of its participation, the latter suggesting one consequence will be “during this period, there will be no ship exits from Ukraine”.
Earlier, on 20 October 2022, UNCTAD had reported on the contributions of the Black Sea Initiative to global food security. In the week before Russia’s suspension of participation, the JCC had reported on 24 October 2022 on delays and disruptions that had resulted in a backlog of vessels waiting in the territorial waters of Türkiye. A statement by Ukraine attributed these delays to the actions of Russia concerning inspections, while a Russian statement attributed delays to “an artificial traffic jam has been created in the port of Istanbul”.
For further information see the below map of the Black Sea Grain Initiative Shipping Route (25 August 2022) produced by the JCC (Sevastopol is not visible on the map as it lies eastward of the eastern boundary of the map).
The Government of New Zealand announced its support to a conditional moratorium on deep sea mining in areas beyond national jurisdiction until environmental rules are agreed and backed up by science. The decision follows a review of progress on regulations for deep sea mining in the area managed by the International Seabed Authority, who has a July 2023 deadline to complete the regulations, or Mining Code, before mining applications can be submitted. More information on this announcement can be found in the press release from the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This announcement goes in the same direction of a motion by IUCN (see De Maribus report here) and of a decision from the Parliament of Belgium (see De Maribus report here)
On 27 October 2022 the Republic of Vanuatu formally announced at the UN General Assembly the composition of the ICJ Core Group of Nations, which currently includes: Antigua & Barbuda, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Germany, Liechtenstein, Federated States of Micronesia, Morocco, Mozambique, New Zealand, Portugal, Samoa, Singapore, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Viet Nam, and Vanuatu. The Core Group of Nations are producing a zero draft of a resolution to be put before the UN General Assembly requesting an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and builds on previously reported formal endorsements by the respective leaders of CARICOM, PIF & OACPS. Note, Antigua & Barbuda is a member of the ICJ Core Group of Nations, aligning with the previously reported support of COSIS for the Vanuatu ICJ Initiative.
The currently reported schedule by the Vanuatu ICJ Initiative notes a zero draft of the proposed UNGA Resolution will be made public by 14 November 2022, opened for informal negotiations by 21 November 2022 and tabled for a vote by the UNGA between December 2022-February 2023 (i.e. during 77th Session of UNGA). The current draft question is not detailed in the Joint Statement, the Vanuatu Press Release, or the Resolution Elements Summary (October 2022), but possibilities are noted:
An opinion of the International Court of Justice could, among other things:
Vanuatu, Joint Statement on behalf of Core Group of Nations, UNGA, 27 October 2022.
- Clarify the rights and obligations of States in respect of the adverse impacts of climate change on small island developing states and other climate vulnerable states, in particular, thereby facilitating international cooperation in this area;
- Encourage States to reflect their highest possible level of ambition, in keeping with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in light of their different national circumstances, in preparing their NDCs under the Paris Agreement and supporting climate action;
- Clarify the due diligence requirements relating to climate action for emitters of greenhouse gases– past, present and future, and
- Clarify the implications for the human rights of present and future generations.
For further information, note that UNEP also released its Emissions Gap Report 2022 on 27 October 2022. The executive summary (p. XVI) notes “Policies currently in place with no additional action are projected to result in global warming of 2.8°C over the twenty-first century. Implementation of unconditional and conditional NDC scenarios reduce this to 2.6°C and 2.4°C respectively”. The UNEP Press Release summarises “the international community is still falling far short of the Paris goals, with no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place”.
The High Seas Alliance (HSA) is currently seeking a Programme Officer (six months, possible renewal), who will “provide support to the High Seas Alliance (HSA) to implement its strategies to finalise and implement a [BBNJ] Treaty to protect and manage the high seas”. Applications are welcome until 30 October 2022. For more information see here.
The Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS) and the Utrecht University Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law (UCWOSL), in collaboration with the Centre for International Law (CIR) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, are organizing a workshop entitled Filling the legal toolbox for working towards ocean sustainability: UNCLOS, UNCLOS 2.0 and/or what else? This event is set to take place on 17 and 18 November 2022, in The Hague (Netherlands). Further information about registration, as well as the program of the event, is available here.
On 24 June 2022, Ecuador acceded to the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, thereby becoming an Acceding Party (Article XXIX). Acceding Parties are bound by the provisions of the CAMLR Convention, but are not permitted to fish in the CAMLR Convention Area, do not participate in decision-making, and do not contribute financially. On 19 October 2022 Ecuador then became a Member of the Commission. Consistent with Article VII(2)(b) of the CAMLR Convention, the press release by CCAMLR Secretariat notes Ecuador is currently engaged in research activities in relation to the marine living resources to which the CAMLR Convention applies. Members are involved in scientific research and/or fishing subject to CCAMLR Conservation Measures (Articles IX & XXI), contribute to the CCAMLR budget (Article XIX) and participate in decision-making (Article XII).
The Faculty of Law at the University of Malaya in collaboration with the Malaysian Chapter of the Asian Society of International Law will host a conference, entitled, The Asian Legal Order: Adoption of Universal Norms or Adaptation of Local Values?, 25 October 2022 in a hybrid format (University of Malaya/Zoom). Session III addresses peace and security in the South China Sea. For more information see here.
The London International Boundary Conference 2022 will be held from the 12-13 December 2022, at King’s College London (London, UK), in a hybrid format. The call for papers includes 5 themes, whereby a number of topics may be of interest to those working around the law of the sea. Abstracts are welcome until 4 November 2022.
For more information, see here.
Filed under Calls, Events
On 11 October 2022, the Republic of Lebanon and the State of Israel reached a draft Exchange of Letters Establishing a Permanent Maritime Boundary to delineate their territorial sea and EEZ maritime boundary, with the USA formally acting as a mediator and facilitator between the Parties since 29 September 2020. Pending finalisation, Section 1 would define the maritime boundary as agreed between the Parties for all points seaward of the easternmost point of the maritime boundary line. Section 2 addresses exploration and exploitation of an area refereed to as “the Prospect”.
In order not to prejudice the status of the land boundary, the maritime boundary landward of the easternmost point of the MBL is expected to be delimited in the context of, or in a timely manner after, the Parties’ demarcation of the land boundary. Until such time this area is delimited, the Parties agree that the status quo near the shore, including along and as defined by the current buoy line, remains the same, notwithstanding the differing legal positions of the Parties in this area, which remains undelimited.
For further information see here and here.
By Order of 4 October 2022 in the Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf between Nicaragua and Colombia beyond 200 Nautical Miles from the Nicaraguan Coast (Nicaragua v. Colombia) the International Court of Justice issued a decision on the organisation of the public hearings. Having regard to Article 48 of the ICJ Statute and to Articles 54(1) and 61(1) of the Rules of Court the ICJ stated and decided that:
Whereas, in the circumstances of the case, before proceeding to any consideration of technical and scientific questions in relation to the delimitation of the continental shelf between Nicaragua and Colombia beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea of Nicaragua is measured, the Court considers it necessary to decide on certain questions of law, after hearing the Parties thereon,
Decides that, at the forthcoming oral proceedings in the case, the Republic of Nicaragua and the Republic of Colombia shall present their arguments exclusively with regard to the following two questions:
(1) Under customary international law, may a State’s entitlement to a continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of its territorial sea is measured extend within 200 nautical miles from the baselines of another State?
(2) What are the criteria under customary international law for the determination of the limit of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured and, in this regard, do paragraphs 2 to 6 of Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea reflect customary international law? and
Reserves the subsequent procedure for further decision.
Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf between Nicaragua and Colombia beyond 200 Nautical Miles from the Nicaraguan Coast (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Order of 4 October 2022, pp. 2-3
As noted in both of the two declarations appended to the Order, the division of the oral proceedings on the merits into two separate parts was previously unprecedented. The Joint Declaration of Judges Tomka, Xue, Robinson, Nolte and Judge ad hoc Skotnikov offers critical reflection on the Order of 4 October 2022, while the Declaration of Judge Abraham is supportive of the Order of 4 October 2022. For further information see the ICJ Press Release No. 2022/49.
The Consortium for the Study of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy (CONSMAR) and the Maritime Policy and Strategy Research Centre of the University of Haifa will host the first webinar in their Eastern Mediterranean Talks series, entitled, Maritime Boundaries Delimitation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, 20 October 2022, online (Zoom). For more information see here.
The Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam is seeking applicants for the Young Leaders Program 2022 under the framework of the 14th South China Sea International Conference, themed, Undisrupted Sea, Undisrupted Peace, Undisrupted Recovery, 16-18 November 2022. Applications are welcome until 30 October 2022. For more information see here.
Filed under Calls, Events
The Global Fisheries Transparency Coalition is currently conducting a public consultation on its draft Global Charter for Transparency, with written comments welcome until 31 October 2022. See here for more information and to participate.
The European Society of International Law (ESIL) is hosting the 2023 ESIL Annual Conference, themed, Is international law fair?, 30 August-2 September 2023 in Aix-en-Provence, France. All 11 Agora appear suitable for law of the sea related submissions, with explicit examples being Agora 5: Fairness, Natural Resources, Shared Resources, and Common Spaces and Agora 7: Fairness in the Allocation of Maritime Spaces. Abstracts are welcome until 31 January 2023.
Filed under Calls, Events