The President of the United States of America announced a decision (13 March 2023) to withdraw from disposition by oil or gas leasing for a time period without specific expiration the areas designated as the Beaufort Planning Area of the Outer Continental Shelf. According to the memorandum published by the White House, the withdrawal prevents consideration of withdrawn areas for any future oil or gas leasing for purposes of exploration, development, or production, but nothing in this withdrawal affects rights under existing leases in the withdrawn areas. The Memorandum for the Secretary of the Interior is available here. This comes after the U.S. Interior Department issued a Record of Decision regarding the proposed Willow Master Development Plan in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (source).
Monthly Archives: March 2023
USA: Withdrawal of Certain Areas off the United States Arctic Coast of the Outer Continental Shelf from Oil or Gas Leasing
Vacancy: Research Assistant at Queen’s University Belfast
Queen’s University Belfast is currently advertising a research assistant position for the project Changing Conceptions of the Freedom of the Seas: The High Seas as Legal Space. Application are welcome until 31 March 2023. For more information see here.
Filed under Vacancies
Calls: Brazilian Journal of International Law (Special Issue)
The Brazilian Journal of International Law invites submissions for a special issue on “Oil spill Prevention and Response: national, international and comparative perspectives” to be published in December 2023. In the backdrop of the 2019 Northeast Brazil Oil Spill, this call aims to look into innovative solutions for addressing environmental, social and economic issues caused by accidental oil spills caused by ships from an international, national and comparative perspective. The call is open to papers examining a variety of civil, administrative, criminal and international legal issues regarding oil spills, such as: 1) Prevention and reparation of vessel-source pollution; 2) Safety management of offshore oil and gas operations; 3) Assessing economic loss caused by oil spill disasters; 4) Ecologic compensation in case of oil spill disasters; 5) Area Based Management Tools (including Marine Protected Areas, other effective area-based conservation measures and Marine spatial planning). The deadline for submission is 31 July 2023. More information is available here.
UNDP: Operational Phase of FSO Safer Emergency Plan
As previously reported, in 2022 the UN Plan for the FSO Safer Tanker Stop the Red Sea Catastrophe had received sufficient funding pledges to start the first phase of the emergency operation. In September 2022 preparatory work for the operation began, however a significant price increase in the market for suitable vessels to undertake the operation since occured, “chiefly due to factors related to the war in Ukraine”. Therefore, on 9 March 2023 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement with Euronav to secure the purchase of a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), with an anticipated arrival at the mooring location of the FSO Safer in May 2023 to begin operations. “The purchase of this suitable vessel by UNDP marks the beginning of the operational phase of the UN-coordinated plan” (UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner).
Filed under International Organizations
Vacancy: Ocean Team Intern at IUCN
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is currently seeking an Intern (6 months) to join the IUCN Ocean Team (Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland). The Ocean Team intern “will support the work and projects of the IUCN Team with a focus on communications and research for the Global Plastics Treaty work and possibly work related to the [BBNJ Agreement]”. Applications are welcome until 13 March 2023. For more information see here.
Filed under Vacancies
Calls: Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law
The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law is currently inviting submissions on a closed list of topics, including a number of law of the sea related topics. Non-exhaustive examples include an entry on fisheries and an entry on maritime boundaries.
While the analysis of these topics cannot dispense with a general overview of the relevant framework set by public international law, the focus should remain on domestic constitutional provisions dealing with fisheries and maritime boundaries and should cover an appropriate selection of relevant jurisdictions. Submissions should be around 5000 words and the ordinary deadline is 6 months from assignment.
Designated authors will receive a free token giving access to a selection of Oxford University Press products for 1 year. For further information, or to receive a full list of available entries, please contact the Managing Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filed under Calls
Singapore/Indonesia: Domestic Ratification of 2022 Expanded Framework Agreements
On 17 January 2023 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore confirmed that Singapore has completed its domestic legal processes to ratify the bilateral instruments which make up the 2022 Expanded Framework Agreements with Indonesia, namely, the Agreement on the Realignment of the Boundary between the Jakarta Flight Information Region (FIR) and the Singapore FIR, the Treaty for the Extradition of Fugitives and the Defence Cooperation Agreement. This follows Indonesia’s ratification of the FIR Agreement in September 2022 and the Extradition Treaty and DCA in December 2022. Consistent with the 2022 Exchange of Letters, Singapore and Indonesia will exchange formal notifications of completion and “jointly seek approval from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the arrangements under the FIR Agreement, to enable the simultaneous entry into force of all three agreements on a mutually agreed date”.
UN: negotiations on BBNJ Agreement concluded
On 4 March 2023, the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), successfully concluded negotiations on a new international agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. The BBNJ Agreement is the culmination of discussions that began in 2004 under the auspices of the United Nations to enhance the international legal regime concerning the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the oceans beyond the exclusive economic zones and continental shelves of states. The BBNJ Agreement covers access to and use of marine genetic resources; the adoption of conservation and sustainable use measures and the conduct of environmental impact assessments in the maritime areas beyond national jurisdiction; and capacity-building and the transfer of marine technology. The draft (advanced, unedited, pending paragraph renumbering) may be found here.
Filed under International Organizations, Treaties
CLCS: Partial Revised Submission by Russia (Arctic Ocean II)
On 14 February 2023, the Russian Federation submitted to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), in accordance with Article 76, paragraph 8, of the Convention, and with reference to its Submission of 20 December 2001, and of it Partial Revised submission of 3 August 2015 (with addenda submitted on 31 March 2021) in respect of the Arctic Ocean, information on the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of its territorial sea is measured in respect of the southeastern part of the Eurasian Basin in the Arctic Ocean. An Executive Summary of the Partial Revised Submission (2023) is available. This partial revised submission addresses one of the CLCS recommendations issued in February 2023 (previously reported), namely that the outer limits of the continental shelf in the southern part of the Amundsen Basin should be defined in a partial revised submission for this area. This represented the third partial revised submission Russia has submitted to the CLCS, of which, to-date, two concern the Arctic Ocean.