Author Archives: A. N. Honniball

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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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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UNGA: The human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment

On 28 July 2022 the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a Resolution, entitled, The human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment (161 votes in favour; China, Russian Federation, Belarus, Cambodia, Iran, Syria, Kyrgyzstan and Ethiopia abstaining). Relevant paragraphs include:

1. Recognizes the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a human right;

[…]

3. Affirms that the promotion of the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment requires the full implementation of the multilateral environmental agreements under the principles of international environmental law;

UN Doc. A/76/L.75 (26 July 2022)

For more information see the UN press release and the preceding United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 48/13.

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Vacancy: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Bergen

The University of Bergen (UiB) is currently advertising a position within the second call of the Shaping European Research Leaders for Marine Sustainability (SEAS) programme, entitled, SEAS postdoctoral research fellow in regulatory and governance challenges related to ocean sustainability. Applications are welcome until 31 October 2022. For more information see here.

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Vacancy: Ocean Policy Officer at WWF

The World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) is currently advertising for a Ocean Policy Officer, focused on “supporting the implementation of WWF Blueprint for a Sustainable European Policy Agenda, with a focus on protecting marine biodiversity”. The candidate will be based at the WWF European Policy Office (Brussels, Belgium) and applications are welcome until 15 August 2022. For more information, see here.

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Webinar: Collaborative Ocean Governance in the Bay of Bengal

The Bangladesh Centre for Ocean Law and Policy (BCOLP) will host the first episode of its inaugural webinar series, entitled, Beyond Boundaries: Collaborative Ocean Governance in the Bay of Bengal, 30 July 2022, Online. For more information see here.

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Summit: Tech, Law and Maritime Defense

TLMDS will host its first Tech, Law and Maritime Defense Summit, 11-13 October 2022, online. For more information on select speakers and to register see here.

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Call for Papers: VI Congresso do Instituto Brasileiro de Direito do Mar

The Brazilian Institute of Law of the Sea (BILOS) shall host its VI Congress of the Brazilian Institute of Law of the Sea on the 27-28 October 2022, in a hybrid format (University of Caxias do Sul (Brazil)/Online). The submission of papers is welcome until 31 August 2022.

For further information see here.

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Fiji/Solomon Islands: Maritime Boundary Agreement signed

On 11 July 2022 the Republic of Fiji and Solomon Islands signed the Agreement between the Republic of Fiji and Solomon Islands concerning their Maritime Boundary. Article 3 provides for a single delimitation line concerning both the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf entitlements of the Contracting Parties. The official press releases (2) note that the agreement is consistent with, and aligned with, the intention of all Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Members as expressed in the previously reported 2021 Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of Climate Change-related Sea-Level Rise. Thus, both Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare (Solomon Islands) and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama (Fiji) thereby declare the “permanence of their country’s respective maritime zones, irrespective of climate change-related sea-level rise and its potential impact on maritime boundaries”. 

Illustrative purposes only: Agreement between the Republic of Fiji and Solomon Islands concerning their Maritime Boundary, Annex.

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Conference: Equity Perspectives on Global Ocean Law and Governance

Universität Hamburg will host an interdisciplinary conference, entitled, Equity Perspectives on Global Ocean Law and Governance, 7 September 2022, in a hybrid format (Hamburg (Germany)/Online). For more information and registration see here.

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9th Yeosu Academy of the Law of the Sea

The Korea Maritime Institute is hosting the 9th Yeosu Academy of the Law of the Sea, 24 October – 4 November 2022, in Yeosu (Republic of Korea). Applications are welcome until 21 August 2022. Applicants should be from developing countries and those who are “engaged in maritime-related work”. No fees apply. For more information see here.

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Call for Papers: The Future of UNCLOS

The Australian National University College of Law Centre for International and Public Law (CIPL) and the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law (ANZSIL) will host a conference, entitled, New Horizons: The Future of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 9-10 December 2022, in a hybrid format (Canberra/online). Submission of abstracts is welcome until 8 August 2022. For more information see here.

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Dispute Concerning the Detention of Ukrainian Naval Vessels/Servicemen, Award on Preliminary Objections

The Arbitral Tribunal (UNCLOS, Annex VII) in respect of the Dispute Concerning the Detention of Ukrainian Naval Vessels and Servicemen (Ukraine v. the Russian Federation), PCA Case No. 2019-28, issued its Award on Preliminary Objections of the Russian Federation on 27 June 2022. However, consistent with Article 28(6) of the Rules of Procedure, the Parties to the Dispute were given an opportunity to designate “confidential information that they request to be redacted” and so the Award was only publicly published on 11 July 2022. The Operative part of the Award (Para. 208) unanimously concluded:

For the reasons set out above, the Arbitral Tribunal
Article 298(1)(b) Objection
a. Finds that the events of 25 November 2018 until a point in time after the Ukrainian naval vessels left anchorage area No. 471 constitute “military activities” excluded from the jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal in accordance with Article 298(1)(b) of the Convention;
b. Finds that the events following the arrest of the Ukrainian naval vessels do not constitute “military activities” excluded from the jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal in accordance with Article 298(1)(b) of the Convention;
c. Decides that the determination of the precise point at which the events ceased to be “military activities” within the meaning of Article 298(1)(b) of the Convention shall be ruled upon in conjunction with the merits;
Article 288(1) Objection
d. Declares that the objection that UNCLOS does not provide for an applicable immunity does not possess an exclusively preliminary character;
e. Decides that the objection that UNCLOS does not provide for an applicable immunity shall be ruled upon in conjunction with the merits;
Article 290 and 296 Objection
f. Rejects the objection that the Arbitral Tribunal has no jurisdiction over alleged breaches of the ITLOS Provisional Measures Order;
Article 279 Objection
g. Declares that the objection that Article 279 of the Convention provides no basis for the Arbitral Tribunal to claim jurisdiction as to the alleged aggravation of the dispute does not possess an exclusively preliminary character;
h. Decides that the objection that Article 279 of the Convention provides no basis for the Arbitral Tribunal to claim jurisdiction as to the alleged aggravation of the dispute shall be ruled upon in conjunction with the merits;
Article 283 Objection
i. Rejects the objection that Ukraine has not complied with Article 283 of the Convention;
Further Proceedings
j. Decides that it has jurisdiction over the dispute between the Parties, subject to the jurisdictional limitations set out above;
k. Decides that the proceedings on the merits are hereby resumed, and that the Russian Federation shall submit a Counter-Memorial no later than six months from the date of this Award;
Costs
l. Decides that the question of costs shall be ruled upon in conjunction with the merits.

Dispute Concerning the Detention of Ukrainian Naval Vessels and Servicemen (Ukraine v. the Russian Federation), Award on Preliminary Objections of the Russian Federation [208]

For further information see previous reports.

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2022 UN Ocean Conference: Lisbon Declaration

The 2022 UN Ocean Conference (The United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development), co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, occurred 27 June – 1 July 2022 in Lisbon (Portugal). The Conference adopted (A/CONF.230/2022/L1), without a vote, the Lisbon Declaration, entitled, Our ocean, our future, our responsibility (A/CONF.230/2022/L.2). In addition to this political declaration, many states made a host of new commitments, with “[c]lose to 700 commitments […] registered”.

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Virtual Course: Ocean Governance for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems

The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research,  International Ocean Institute (IOI) and German Development Institute (DIE) shall host a virtual training course, entitled, Ocean Governance for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems, 19-30 September 2022. Applications are welcomed until 15 July 2022, and applications from scholars from “tropical countries” are especially welcomed. For more information see here.

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IGC President’s Further Revised Draft Text of A BBNJ Agreement

Pursuant to General Assembly Decision 76/564 (24 March 2022) a 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 will be convened 15–26 August 2022. On differences of opinion among states on whether the fifth session will be the final session to conclude an agreement see here.

The previously reported revised draft text of an agreement prepared by the President of the Conference, and previously reported textual proposals were considered at the fourth session (7-18 March 2022). The President of the Conference was requested to prepare a further revised draft text of an agreement, taking into account (1) the work of the fourth session, (2) delegation proposals in conference room papers during the fourth session, (3) proposals sent up until 31 March 2022. On 30 May 2022 the President of the Conference [Rena Lee (Singapore)] released an advanced version of the further revised draft text, entitled, Further revised draft text of an agreement 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. Delegations are given until 25 July 2022 to submit further textual proposals for consideration at the fifth session of the conference. It is expected the President of the Conference will once again publish a compilation of proposals submitted by the deadline in advance of the opening of the fifth session. Delegations will also be able to submit proposals during the fifth session itself.

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Webinar: Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea

The AsianSIL Law of the Sea Interest Group will host an informal discussion on the ICJ’s Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment of 21 April 2022, on 30 June 2022, 16:30-17:30 (Singapore Time (SGT)), online (Zoom) (Meeting ID: 907 705 7650). For further background information, see previous De Maribus reporting.

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Summer School: EULoS 2022

The Jean Monnet Chair on International and European Law of the Sea (IELoS) shall host the eight edition of the EULoS Summer School, European Union and the Law of the Sea29 August – 9 September 2022, in Genoa, Italy. Applications are welcome on a rolling basis.

For more information see the EULoS website.

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Conference: Promoting Maritime Cooperation in South East Asia

The Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), and the Australian Embassy (Viet Nam) shall host the 8th Ocean Dialogue, themed, 40th Anniversary of UNCLOS: Promoting Maritime Cooperation in Southeast Asia, 29 June 2022, in a hybrid format (Ha Noi/Online). For more information see the programme and virtual registration form.

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Special Issue: Ocean-Based Action – The Ocean-Climate Nexus & Human Rights

The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law is currently seeking contributions for a special issue, entitled, Ocean-Based Action: The Ocean-Climate Nexus and Human Rights, including advance publication online on a rolling basis. Abstracts are welcome until 1 August 2022, with further details and deadlines in the call for papers.

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CSO Alliance Launched to Support Vanuatu Initiative to Seek an ICJ Advisory Opinion on Climate Change

On 5 May 2022, the Civil Society Organisations Alliance to Support the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu’s Bid to Request a UN General Assembly Resolution Requesting an Advisory Opinion on Climate Change from the International Court of Justice (CSO Alliance) was launched. In September 2021 the Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu formally announced Vanuatu’s intention to pursue a campaign to request an ICJ Advisory Opinion on the rights of current and future generations in the context of climate change. This followed the previous positive response of the leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum (50th Pacific Island Forum (August 2019) Forum Communique, para. 16), and has had the subsequent indicated support of the Heads of Government at the Thirty-Third Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) (Communique (March 2022)). Consistent with Article 65 of the Statute of the ICJ and Article 96(1) of the UN Charter, the Vanuatu campaign has signalled its intent to table a resolution proposal before the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022 which, if adopted, would request the ICJ Advisory Opinion. The “exact statement of the question upon which an opinion is required” (Article 65, ICJ Statute) does not appear to have been publicly disclosed to-date, but the most recent comments of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu (May 2022) refers to a request “to clarify the legal obligations of states to protect human rights and the environment from climate change”.

More information is available on the websites of the Vanuatu ICJ Initiative and the Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change. On former related initiatives, see the 2011 (unsuccessful) attempt by Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands to have the UN General Assembly “request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the responsibilities of States under international law to ensure that activities carried out under their jurisdiction or control that emit greenhouse gases do not damage other States”, including an explicit reference to Article 194 of UNCLOS.

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Book launch: Unconventional Lawmaking in the Law of the Sea

The International Law Association (Australian Branch) will host a webinar, entitled, Unconventional Lawmaking in the Law of the Sea: A conversation with contributors, 26 May 2022, online, to celebrate the release of Natalie Klein (ed.) Unconventional Lawmaking in the Law of the Sea (OUP 2022). For more information see here.

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UNGA: High-Level Commemorative Meeting on 40th Anniversary of UNCLOS

On 29 April 2022 the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly held an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), entitled, Informal meeting of the plenary to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (programme). The event was convened followed a request from the delegations of Denmark, Grenada, Kenya, Portugal and Singapore.

On 30 April 1982, following a request for a recorded vote by the USA, the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea adopted UNCLOS by 130 votes (in favour) to 4 (against), with 17 abstentions (A/CONF.62/SR.182, paras. 26-28, subject to drafting changes and with 2 delegations not participating in the vote). UNCLOS was formally adopted and opened for signature on 10 December 1982 (A/CONF.62/122).

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EU/Norway: Understanding on Fisheries Management in Northeast Arctic

On 28 April 2022 the European Union and Norway reached an understanding on sustainable fisheries management in the Northeast Arctic (ICES subareas 1 and 2), including in the Fishery Protection Zone around Svalbard. The Ad-hoc exploratory consultations in relation to the fisheries in ICES areas 1 and 2 includes agreed cod quotas and consultations on (direct and by-catch) catch limits for other listed species. This resolves a bilateral disagreement brought to the surface following the 2021 UK-Norway Fisheries Agreement and Svalbard cod quota therein (see also, Agreed Record of Fisheries Consultations for 2022, press release, and 2020 Framework Agreement on Fisheries). Similar to the 2021 UK-Norway Fisheries Agreement, the 2022 EU-Norway Understanding notes “Norway’s rights and duties as a coastal State to regulate, in accordance with international law, the conservation and management of marine living resources in areas where it has sovereign rights, including in the Fishery Protection Zone around Svalbard” and is without prejudice to the Parties respective interpretations of the 1920 Spitsbergen Treaty, Part VII of UNCLOS, and the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement.

For more information see the Norwegian press release and EU press release.

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Vacancy: Doctoral Fellow at Ghent University

The Maritime Institute (Department of European, Public and International Law of the Faculty of Law and Criminology, Ghent University (Belgium)) is seeking a doctoral fellow to address, Revising the international fisheries regime: optimum conservation and utilization of fish stocks through feasible legal measures, adequate implementation and effective enforcement. Applications are welcome until 15 June 2022. For more information see here.

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Call for Abstracts: 2022 Oslo International Environmental Law Conference

The IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law and the Faculty of Law of the University of Oslo, will host the 2020 Oslo Environmental Law Conference, themed, The Transformative Power of Law: Addressing Global Environmental Challenges, 3-6 October 2022, at the University of Oslo (Norway). Many of the non-exhaustive subject clusters lend themselves to a law of the sea perspective submission, although most evident is 3. Transforming Ocean Governance: UNCLOS as Living Instrument. Abstracts are welcome until 30 April 2022. For more information see here.

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Book Launch: The Law of the Sea (4th Ed)

On 26 May 2022 the Manchester International Law Centre (UoM) and Manchester University Press shall host a virtual book launch with the authors for: Robin Churchill, Vaughan Lowe and Amy Sander, The law of the sea (4th Ed., 2022). For more information see here.

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Moot Court: 2022 China International Law of the Sea Competition 

Wuhan University China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies (CIBOS) and the Chinese Society of the Law of the Sea have announced the 2022 China International Law of the Sea Moot Court Competition, The Case Concerning Iron Fertilization in the Eleanor Sea (The Republic of Futuna v. The Kingdom of Ellis), to be held 22-23 October 2022, online. Registration is open until 31 May 2022. For more information see here.

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ICJ: Sovereign Rights & Maritime Spaces (Nicaragua/Colombia) Judgment

On 21 April 2022 the ICJ delivered its Judgment on the merits, Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment. This Judgment was accompanied by 3 Dissenting Opinions (Judge Abraham; Judge Nolte; Judge ad hoc McRae) 4 Declarations (Vice-President Gevorgian; Judge Bennouna; Judge Xue; Judge Iwasawa) and 3 Separate Opinions (Judge Tomka; Judge Yusuf; Judge Robinson). Previously, the ICJ delivered its Preliminary Objections, Judgment of 17 March 2016 and the previous decisions on sovereignty over certain maritime features and maritime delimitation in the Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment of 19 November 2012 formed an integral part of the legal and geographic background to this case.

The Judgment of 21 April 2022 includes, among others, significant statements on the scope of the customary international law of the sea, the scope of coastal state rights in the contiguous zone, rights and duties concerning freedom of navigation and marine environmental protection, exceptionalism of historic fishing rights, and the scope of straight baselines and their relationship to other rights and duties in the law of the sea. The operative clause (paragraph 261, votes omitted) states:

THE COURT,
(1) By ten votes to five,
Finds that its jurisdiction, based on Article XXXI of the Pact of Bogotá, to adjudicate upon the dispute regarding the alleged violations by the Republic of Colombia of the Republic of Nicaragua’s rights in the maritime zones which the Court declared in its 2012 Judgment to appertain to the Republic of Nicaragua, covers the claims based on those events referred to by the Republic of Nicaragua that occurred after 27 November 2013, the date on which the Pact of Bogotá ceased to be in force for the Republic of Colombia;

(2) By ten votes to five,
Finds that, by interfering with fishing and marine scientific research activities of Nicaraguan-flagged or Nicaraguan-licensed vessels and with the operations of Nicaraguan naval vessels in the Republic of Nicaragua’s exclusive economic zone and by purporting to enforce conservation measures in that zone, the Republic of Colombia has violated the Republic of Nicaragua’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction in this maritime zone;

(3) By nine votes to six,
Finds that, by authorizing fishing activities in the Republic of Nicaragua’s exclusive economic zone, the Republic of Colombia has violated the Republic of Nicaragua’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction in this maritime zone;

(4) By nine votes to six,
Finds that the Republic of Colombia must immediately cease the conduct referred to in points (2) and (3) above;

(5) By thirteen votes to two,
Finds that the “integral contiguous zone” established by the Republic of Colombia by Presidential Decree 1946 of 9 September 2013, as amended by Decree 1119 of 17 June 2014, is not in conformity with customary international law, as set out in paragraphs 170 to 187 above;

(6) By twelve votes to three,
Finds that the Republic of Colombia must, by means of its own choosing, bring into conformity with customary international law the provisions of Presidential Decree 1946 of 9 September 2013, as amended by Decree 1119 of 17 June 2014, in so far as they relate to maritime areas declared by the Court in its 2012 Judgment to appertain to the Republic of Nicaragua;

(7) By twelve votes to three,
Finds that the Republic of Nicaragua’s straight baselines established by Decree No. 33-2013 of 19 August 2013, as amended by Decree No. 17-2018 of 10 October 2018, are not in conformity with customary international law;

(8) By fourteen votes to one,
Rejects all other submissions made by the Parties.

Alleged Violations of Sovereign Rights and Maritime Spaces in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment [261].

See also the Summary 2022/3 (21 April 2022).

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Workshop: UNCLOS at 40 – Judiciary Contributions & Judicial Jurisdiction

The Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS) and the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law (UCWOSL) will host a workshop, entitled, The United Nations Convention on the law of the sea at forty: the contribution of the judiciary and judicial jurisdiction, 5-6 May 2022 in a hybrid format (Utrecht/Online). For more information see here.

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Call for Papers: Africa and the Challenge of Climate Change

The African Society of International Law (AfSIL) is currently seeking contributions for its 11th Annual Conference, entitled, Africa and the Challenge of Climate Change, 28-29 October 2022 in Cairo, Egypt (virtual participation possible). This includes Theme VIII: Climate Change and the Law of the Sea, although other themes may also be addressed from a law of the sea perspective. Abstracts are welcome untill 15 May 2022. For more information see here.

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Call for Papers: UNCLOS in Asia-Pacific – 40 Years and Onwards

The Development of International Law in Asia-Korea (DILA-KOREA) and the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) are seeking papers for the 2022 Asia-Pacific Ocean Law Institutions Alliance (APOLIA) Conference, themed, UNCLOS in Asia-Pacific: 40 Years and Onwards, 19–20 May 2022. Abstracts are welcome until 20 April 2022. For more information see the call for papers.

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EU: Prohibition on Access to Port for Russian Flagged Vessels

On 8 April 2022 the Council of the European Union adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/578, as well as the corresponding regulatory action to ensure uniform application in all Member States (Recital 10), Council Regulation (EU) 2022/576. Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/578 introduced, among other measures, prohibitions on access to EU ports of vessels registered under the flag of Russia and recently reflagged (24 February 2022) vessels formerly registered under the flag of Russia (Article 1(18); inserting Article 4ha into Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP). Article 1(11) of Council Regulation (EU) 2022/576 therefore inserts Article 3ea into Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014, whereby:

1.   It shall be prohibited to provide access after 16 April 2022 to ports in the territory of the Union to any vessel registered under the flag of Russia.

2.   Paragraph 1 shall apply to vessels that have changed their Russian flag or their registration, to the flag or register of any other State after 24 February 2022.

3.   For the purposes of this Article, a vessel means:

(a) a ship falling within the scope of the relevant international conventions;

(b) a yacht, of 15 metres in length or more, which does not carry cargo and carrying no more than 12 passengers; or

(c) recreational craft or personal watercraft as defined in Directive 2013/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council.

4.  Paragraph 1 shall not apply in the case of a vessel in need of assistance seeking a place of refuge, of an emergency port call for reasons of maritime safety, or for saving life at sea.

5.  By way of derogation from paragraph 1, the competent authorities may authorise a vessel to access a port, under such conditions as they deem appropriate, after having determined that the access is necessary for:

(a) the purchase, import or transport into the Union of natural gas and oil, including refined petroleum products, titanium, aluminium, copper, nickel, palladium and iron ore, as well as certain chemical and iron products as listed in Annex XXIV;

(b) the purchase, import or transport of pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural and food products, including wheat and fertilisers whose import, purchase and transport is allowed under this Regulation;

(c) humanitarian purposes;

(d) transport of nuclear fuel and other goods strictly necessary for the functioning of civil nuclear capabilities; or

(e) the purchase, import or transport into the Union of coal and other solid fossil fuels, as listed in Annex XXII until 10 August 2022.

6.   The Member State concerned shall inform the other Member States and the Commission of any authorisation granted under paragraph 5 within two weeks of the authorisation

Article 1(11) of Council Regulation (EU) 2022/576 (footnotes omitted)

For more information see the Council of the EU press release and Official Journal of the European Union, L 111, 8 April 2022.

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Vacancies: Program Coordinator & Research Assistant – Center for Strategic & International Studies

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is currently advertising full-time positions, including a Program Coordinator and a Research Assistant to join the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) and the Stephenson Ocean Security Project (SOS), based in Washington, D.C. (USA). For more information see here.

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Vacancy: (Senior) Research Fellow – Law of the Sea at MPFPR

The Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law (Heidelberg, Germany) is currently advertising the position of (Senior) Research Fellow with Specialisation in Law of the Sea, focusing on the Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean regions. Applications are welcome until 29 April 2022. For more information see here.

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UK: The Russia (Sanctions)(EU Exit)(Amendment)(No. 7) Regulations 2022

On 29 March 2022 The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2022 (S.I. 395/2022) were made and entered into force on 30 March 2022. The Regulations amend the previously reported Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/855), of relevance including the extension of “Crimea” shipping and trade sanctions to “non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts” (defined, Regulation 2); a prohibition of technical assistance relating to vessels to, or for the benefit of, designated persons (Regulation 46A); and the additions of penalties (Regulation 80) for offences under Part 6 (Ships). See further, the UK Government press release.

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Call for Papers: ASCOMARE Yearbook on the Law of the Sea Vol. 2

Associazione di Consulenza in Diritto del Mare (ASCOMARE) has launched a call for papers for the Second Volume of its Yearbook on the Law of the Sea (YLoS), entitled, Fisheries and the Law of the Sea in the Anthropocene Era. Abstracts are welcome until 31 May 2022. For more information see the call for papers and Volume 1.

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EU: Member of North Pacific Fisheries Commission

On 23 March 2022 the European Union (EU) became a Member of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC), having acceded to the Convention for the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean. As required for accession under Article 24(2) of the NPFC Convention, existing Members reached consensus on inviting the EU to accede at the 6th Meeting of the NPFC (23-25 February 2021) (COM06 Report, para. 8). The NPFC was unable to reach consensus on the EU’s previous 2018 and 2019 requests to join, and the EU’s 2020 request was not considered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of NPFC Meeting. Some Members expressed concerns over EU fishing activities in the Convention Area, proposing conditions thereof (COM06 Report, para. 10; Annex D). For more information see here and here.

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Call for Papers: Enhancing Climate Action Beyond the State

The Centre for International Law and Governance (Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen) and the Frank Guarini Center (New York University School of Law) will host the IV TRAMEREN International Conference, entitled, Enhancing Climate Action beyond the State, 1-2 June 2022, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Paper proposals are welcome until 26 April 2022. For more information see here.

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ROK/Mexico: Proposal to amend 1996 London Protocol – sewage sludge dumping prohibition

On 25 March 2022, the Republic of Korea and Mexico submitted a Proposal to amend Annex 1 to the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes or other Matter, 1972 to remove sewage sludge from the list of wastes or other matter that may be considered for dumping (LC44/10, annexed to Circular Letter No. 4539). The amendment is proposed under Article 21 of the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Protocol) and would entail the deletion of sewage sludge from the list of permissible wastes in Annex 1 of the London Protocol.

If the amendment is adopted, Article 4(1) of the London Protocol will apply to sewage sludge whereby:

Contracting Parties shall prohibit the dumping of any wastes or other matter with the exception of those listed in Annex 1.

London Protocol, Article 4(1).

Note, the governing bodies at the previous Meeting of Parties (43rd London Convention/16th London Protocol) in October 2021 agreed “that there was sufficient evidence and justification for amending Annex 1 to remove sewage sludge from the list of permissible wastes” and “invited a Contracting Party or Parties to the London Protocol to propose an amendment to Annex 1 of the London Protocol to remove sewage sludge from the list of wastes or other matter that could be considered for dumping” (LC 43/17, paras. 10.16-10.24). The proposal is submitted for consideration and adoption at the 17th London Protocol Meeting of Contracting Parties (3-7 October 2022). For more information see the IMO press release.

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2022 Rear Admiral Horace B. Robertson Prize in International Law

The Judge Advocate General of the Navy (USA) has announced the 2022 Rear Admiral Horace B. Robertson Prize in International Law, which welcomes submissions in the field of international law, related to national security, until 20 June 2022. The prize is “open to all judge advocates, including reservists and retirees, in the armed forces of any country”, with the winning article being published in International Law Studies. For more information see here.

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ISA/IORA: MoU on Cooperation in Areas of Common Interest

On 18 March 2022, the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the Secretary-General of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) signed the Memorandum of understanding between the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the International Seabed Authority which aims to “provide a framework of cooperation and facilitate collaboration […] in the areas of common interest” (para. 1). This follows approval of the MoU by the IORA Member States (16 April 2020) and the Council of the ISA (10 December 2021) (ISBA/26/C/13/Add.1, para. 36). Such arrangements on consultation and cooperation by the ISA with international and non-governmental organizations is initiated by the Secretary-General of the ISA by virtue of the competence found in Article 169(1) of UNCLOS. As per Article 169(2) of UNCLOS, IORA now “may designate representatives to attend meetings of the organs of the Authority as observers” and “procedures shall be established for obtaining the views of [IORA] in appropriate cases”.

Areas of co-operation in the MoU, to implement through supplement arrangements (para. 3), include:

(a) To consult, where appropriate and practical, on matters of mutual interest with a view to promoting or enhancing a better understanding and coordination of their respective activities in respect of such matters;
(b) To develop joint capacity-building programmes related to seabed exploration, legal and policy formulation, and environmental management planning;
(c) To cooperate, where appropriate and practical, for the sharing and managing of information and non-confidential data related to offshore hydrocarbon and seabed mineral deposits;
(d) To promote, where appropriate, exchange of information and sharing of technologies related to seabed exploration and mining;
(e) To promote and encourage marine scientific research.

Memorandum of understanding between the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the International Seabed Authority, para. 2 (ISBA/26/C/16, Annex)

See further the ISA press release.

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Colloquium: Colloque à l’occasion des 40 ans de la Convention des Nations unies sur le droit de la mer

The Centre d’études et de recherche internationales et communautaires (Aix-Marseille Université), supported by the International Association for the Law of the Sea, shall host a Colloquium, entitled, Colloque à l’occasion des 40 ans de la Convention des Nations unies sur le droit de la mer, 16-17 June 2022, in a hybrid format (Aix-en-Provence/Online). For more information see the programme and here.

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Call for Proposals: 15th Polar Law Symposium

The Center for Arctic Studies (University of Iceland), in partnership with the Arctic Circle, will co-host the 15th Polar Law Symposium, 12-14 October 2022, in Reykjavík, Iceland. Proposals for keynotes, panels, workshops and/or single topic presentations for inclusion on the PLS agenda are welcome until 15 April 2022. For more information see here

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