As previously reported, the extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative in March 2023 was subject to differing statements on the period of renewal. On 17 May 2023, it was confirmed (2) that the Russian Federation aligned its position with the other parties and will also continue its participation in the Black Sea Initiative for another 60 days. Ukraine welcomed ‘unblocking‘ of the agreement, following Ukraine’s previous objections (17 April 2023) to claimed interference in the inspection plan. On 15 May 2023, the UK likewise objected to delays and the blocking of vessel inspections, called for a sustained and stable deal, and “urge Russia to stop threatening to leave the initiative”. An update (8 May 2023) from the Office of the UN Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative confirmed “[s]ince 1 May, the JCC inspection rate has dropped significantly”, with no inspections on 7-8 May 2023. As of 8 May 2023, the total exports of grain and foodstuffs under the Initiative is 29,798,277 metric tonnes, while there have been no exports of fertilizers so far. Official reports (2) concerning a quadrilateral meeting between Ukraine, Türkiye, Russia and the UN on 10-11 May 2023 involved discussions of “the recent proposals by the United Nations, namely the resumption of the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline, the longer extension of the deal, improvements at the Joint Coordination Centre for stable operations and exports, as well as other issues raised by the parties”.
Monthly Archives: May 2023
Russia: Extension of Participation in Black Sea Grain Initiative
Filed under International Organizations, State Practice
Conference: Maritime Security In A Changing World
IPDM – Instituto Português de Direito do Mar shall host its Second Annual Conference, entitled, Maritime Security In A Changing World, 28 June 2023, in Cascais (Portugal). For more information and registration see here.
Vacancy: Research Associate at World Maritime University
The World Maritime University-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute (WMU-GOI) is currently advertising a Research Associate position, with a particular focus on multifunctional ocean governance and sustainable blue economy under the auspices of the C2B2 programme, to be based at WMU (Malmö, Sweden). Applications are welcome until 31 May 2023. For more information see here.
Filed under Vacancies
Webinar: Deep Seabed Mining & International Law
The British Institute of International and Comparative Law will host a webinar, entitled, Deep Seabed Mining & International Law: Is a Precautionary Pause Required?, 31 May 2023, online. For more information see here.
ASEAN: Declaration on the Placement and Protection of Migrant Fishers
As the current chair of ASEAN, Indonesia hosted the 42nd ASEAN Summit, 9–11 May 2023, in Labuan Bajo (Indonesia). Among the outcome documents, on 10 May 2023 the ASEAN Member States adopted the ASEAN Declaration on The Placement and Protection of Migrant Fishers. Among interesting non-binding provisions are:
FURTHER RECOGNISING the shared responsibility of ASEAN Member States to protect and fulfill the rights of migrant fishers in the entire migration cycle and to prevent and combat forced labour, child labour and trafficking in persons in fishing vessels considering the proximity and connecting borders of ASEAN Member States;
4. IMPROVE the entire migration process of migrant fishers through improvement in ethical and fair recruitment and placement; pre-employment, pre-departure and post-arrival orientations; and access to employment contract or proper documentation in the language they understand;
6. ENCOURAGE ASEAN Member States to initiate or conclude bilateral agreements among each other and with countries outside the region to facilitate safe and regular migration of migrant fishers especially in recruitment and placement processes, safe repatriation and reintegration, and access to justice and remedies;
7. EXPLORE cooperation among ASEAN Member States on data collection and sharing on, but not limited to, case management, recruitment and repatriation of migrant fishers in and outside of ASEAN, and sharing of best practices and lessons learned in the migration process of migrant fishers;ASEAN Declaration on The Placement and Protection of Migrant Fishers (2023)
For further information see the other statements adopted at the 42nd ASEAN Summit here.
Filed under International Organizations
Nigeria: The M/T ‘Heroic Idun’ Domestic Proceedings
On 3 May 2023 the Nigerian Navy published a press release providing an update on the domestic proceedings concerning the M/T ‘Heroic Idun‘ incident of August 2022, from the perspective of the Nigerian Navy. Following the domestic proceedings previously reported, according to the Nigerian Navy, on 10 January 2023 the ship and crew were charged at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, whereupon M/T ‘Heroic Idun‘ “and her 26 foreign crew pleaded guilty and elected voluntarily to enter into a plea bargain agreement with the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as make restitution to the Federal Government”. The owners are said to have made the plea bargain under Section 270(1)(a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, which “was in the interest of justice, the public and for public policy interest” (thus, presumably accepted by the prosecutor under Section 270(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015). According to the Nigerian Navy press release, the court ordered release of the M/T ‘Heroic Idun‘ and crew is conditional on the terms of the plea bargain agreement being first fulfilled, as agreed, which include the M/T ‘Heroic Idun‘ “and its owners are to pay fines to the Federal Government and make an apology to the Federal Republic of Nigeria in print and electronic media as well as Llyod’s list. On its part, the Federal Government agreed not to further criminally prosecute and/or investigate the vessel, her owners, charterers or her crew in the matter of her crime against the State”. For more information see the related international proceedings concerning the M/T ‘Heroic Idun‘, previously reported.
Update 15 May 2023: On 12 May 2023 a public apology by the owners of the M/T ‘Heroic Idun‘ to the Federal Government of Nigeria was published in Lloyd’s List. The apology concerns the reporting of the approach of a Nigerian patrol vessel “as what was thought at the time to be a possible piracy attack”. The apology has been acknowledged and re-circulated by the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Government.
Filed under State Practice
Call for Abstracts: Arctic – Climate, Energy & Sustainability
The Climate Arctic Governance research network (CArGo) will host a special Arctic edition of the Interdisciplinary Seminar Series on Climate, Energy and Sustainability, 8 December 2023, in a hybrid format, University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and Zoom. Abstracts from students and junior researchers are welcome until 31 October 2023. For more information see here.
IPDM Law of the Sea Summer School 2023
IPDM – Instituto Português de Direito do Mar shall host its inaugural Law of the Sea Summer School, 3-14 July 2023, in Cascais (Portugal). The first week will be lectured in Portuguese and the second week in English. For more information and registration see here and the programme.
Filed under Courses
Tuvalu: MoU Signed with Sea Shepherd on Collaborative Fisheries Patrols and Enforcement
On 10 May 2023 the Government of Tuvalu signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sea Shepherd Global concerned with combatting illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Tuvalu’s EEZ (Tuvalu Department of Foreign Affairs). This represents the first collaboration law enforcement arrangement between the NGO and a coastal state in the Pacific region, previous examples involving Sea Shepherd assistance arrangements with Gabon, Liberia, Tanzania, The Gambia, Benin, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Namibia (Sea Shepherd Global Press Release). Under the terms of the MoU, Sea Shepherd will provide a designated vessel, Allankay, at no-cost to the government of Tuvalu to support law enforcement efforts through at-sea patrols. Under the terms of the MoU, Tuvalu will station a detachment from the Tuvalu Police Service aboard the Allankay with the authority to board, inspect, and arrest fishing vessels engaged in IUU activity in the EEZ of Tuvalu.
Filed under Non-State Actors, State Practice
Call for Papers: VII Congresso do Instituto Brasileiro de Direito do Mar
The Brazilian Institute of Law of the Sea (BILOS) shall host its VII Congress of the Brazilian Institute of Law of the Sea, 30-31 October 2023, at the Escola de Guerra Naval, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). The submission of papers are welcome until 6 August 2023. For further information see here.
Vacancy: CIL Research Assistant
The Centre for International Law (National University of Singapore) is accepting applications for the position of Research Assistant (Oceans Law and Policy Team), with a closing date of 20 May 2023. For more information see here.
Filed under Vacancies
Roundtable: Maritime Security Challenges in Southeast Asia
The Centre for International Law (CIL) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Blue Security Program shall host a roundtable, entitled, Maritime Security Challenges in Southeast Asia: A Roundtable Discussion, 25 May 2023, at NUS (Singapore). For more information see here.
Calls/Events: mediation in maritime disputes
The University of Coimbra (Portugal) is hosting the final symposium of the project MediMARE: Mediation in Maritime Disputes. The organizers welcome interdisciplinary and international approaches such as: legal analysis of maritime mediation and its implications; social and political analysis of the mediation mechanism related to maritime activities; diagnosis on current situation and building innovative solutions at the legal and social policies levels; relevance and/or experience of maritime mediation in particular fields, such as (but not limited to) insurance, labor relations, contractual relations, environmental disputes. The symposium will be conducted in a hybrid format on 30 June and 1 July 2023 at the University of Coimbra (Portugal). Deadline to submit paper proposals is 2 June 2023. The call can be found here.
Events: L’obligation des États de protéger et préserver le milieu marin
The Institut du Droit Economique de la Mer (INDEMER) is organizing an international symposium on the obligation of States to protect and preserve the marine environment. The event is set to happen 12-13 May 2023 in Monaco. More information is available here (in French).
Call for Contributions: Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction
The blog of the Environmental, Climate and Oceans Law (ECO Law) research group of the School of Law, University of Edinburgh, is seeking short contributions for an upcoming blog series on the Treaty on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction, to be published in May 2023. Contributions are welcome until 10 May 2023. For more information see here.
Filed under Calls
UNGA: Further resumed fifth session of IGC to adopt the finalised BBNJ Agreement
On 18 April 2023 the United Nations General Assembly adopted (without a vote) UNGA Decision 77/556 (currently available as UN Doc. A/77/L.62), convening a further resumed 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 (BBNJ Agreement). The further resumed fifth session of the IGC will convene with a view to adopting the finalised BBNJ Agreement (advanced unedited version (March 2023)), with tentative dates of 19–20 June 2023. In the meantime, an open-ended informal working group is established to ensure the uniformity of terminology throughout the text of the draft BBNJ Agreement and to harmonise the versions in the six official languages of the UN. See previous reporting here.
Filed under International Organizations, Treaties
ITLOS: The M/T “Heroic Idun” (No. 2) Case
A special chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea was formed to deal with “the dispute concerning the M/T “Heroic Idun” and her crew” between the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Order 2023/2 of 27 April 2023). The Parties agreed to transfer the arbitral proceedings instituted by the Marshall Islands under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to a special chamber of the Tribunal to be constituted pursuant to article 15, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the Tribunal. See ITLOS Press Release 335. See also the press release from the Government of Equatorial Guinea (here). The context of the case leading to this transfer of proceedings can be found in previous De Maribus reports here, and here.
Filed under Jurisprudence
Call for Papers: Ocean Commons
The Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea (NCLOS), UiT The Arctic University of Norway, will host its annual conference, themed, Ocean Commons, 1-3 November 2023, in Tromsø (Norway). Abstracts are welcome until 30 June 2023. For more information see here.
Events: Öresund International Law Workshop
The 5th Öresund International Law Workshop will take place at Lund University Faculty of Law on 13 June 2023. This edition shall address the topic of ‘International Law and Attachment’. The workshop is co-organised by international law researchers at Lund University Faculty of Law, the World Maritime University-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, and the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law. The full programme and registration information are available here.