Author Archives: A. N. Honniball

Conference: Women in the Law of the Sea

The International Seabed Authority, in partnership with the Permanent Representation of Singapore to the United Nations, will host a conference (CfP previously reported), entitled, Women in the Law of the Sea: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Adoption of UNCLOS, 26-28 September 2022, in a hybrid format (New York/Virtual). For more information see here and here.

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Call for Papers: A New World Disorder

Two consecutive conferences, namely the NKR/JTMS Joint Conference & KISA 14th Annual Convention, themed, A New World Disorder: Security Risks, Challenges, and Opportunities, will be hosted at the Yonsei Institute of North Korean Studies, South Korea, 24-26 November 2022. Abstract, including on a number of non-exhaustive law of the sea topics are welcome until 1 October 2022. for more information see here.

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Republic of Congo: Establishment of Three Marine Protected Areas

Between 29-31 August 2022, the Government of the Republic of Congo, with the support of organisations including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), officially “announced the creation of the country’s first three Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) protecting marine resources and coastal habitats across more than 4,000 square kilometers (1,544 square miles) and representing 12.01 percent of Congo’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)” (WCS Press Release). The Ministre de l’Économie Forestière en République du Congo (2) is responsible for protected areas, with a Commission Nationale de Classement approving the Loango Bay Marine Protected Area on 29 August 2022, the expansion of the maritime component of the Conkouati-Douli National Park on 30 August 2022 and the establishment of Mvassa Marine Protected Area on 31 August 2022.

WCS Press Release

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Conference: Operational Maritime Law

The NATO Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters, in co-sponsorship with the Stockton Center for International Law at the United States Naval War College, and in cooperation with the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania will host a conference, entitled, Operational Maritime Law, 10-13 October 2022, in Vilnius, Lithuania. For more information see here.

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Solomon Islands: Temporary Suspension of Approvals Concerning Foreign Naval Visits or Patrols

On 30 August 2022, following the unsuccessful/aborted port calls of the USCGC Oliver Henry and HMAS Spey to the Solomon Islands during their participation in the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency-led, Operation Island Chief, the Solomon Islands have indicated:

“[T]he need for the government to review and refine its approval requirements and procedures for visiting military vessels to Solomon Islands […] to this end we have requested our partners to give us time to review and put in place our new processes before sending further requests for military vessels to enter the country […]

The government has asked all partner countries with plans to conduct naval visits or patrols to put them on hold until a revised national mechanism is in place. These will universally apply to all visiting naval vessels”

GCU Press (30 August 2022)

The port call of USNS Mercy on 30 August 2022 was unaffected due to prior diplomatic clearance. Note, the GCU Press Release refers to a need for diplomatic clearance to enter the Solomon Islands “waters” and “the Government have communicated its position to all countries requesting to send in naval ships into Solomon Islands waters”.

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Vacancy: Researcher at University of Eastern Finland

The University of Eastern Finland Law School is currently advertising a Postdoctoral Researcher/Project Researcher/Doctoral Researcher position addressing EU Marine Environmental Law and Policy, within its Centre for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Law. Applications are welcome until 22 September 2022. For more information see here.

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Call for Papers: Maritime Security Interventions in the Gulf of Guinea

The Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GoGMI) welcomes papers for the maiden edition of the GoGMI Journal of Maritime Research, The Gulf Spectrum, addressing the theme: Maritime Security Interventions in the Gulf of Guinea. Abstracts are welcome until 19 September 2022. For more information see here.

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Vacancy: PhD Researcher at Wageningen University

The Environmental Policy group at Wageningen University is looking for a PhD researcher, entitled, Marine Actors and Governance Process, to work in the NWO funded OR ELSE (Operational Recommendations for Ecosystem-based Large-scale Sand Extraction) programme. OR ELSE focuses on the challenge of climate-induced increase of sand extraction volumes for coastal defence and the effects on ecology and other uses (e.g. fisheries) in the Dutch North Sea. Applications are welcome until 22 September 2022. For more information see here.

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Book Launch: Coastal state jurisdiction over living resources in the EEZ

The ANU Centre for International and Public Law, the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation and the Attorney General’s Department will host a book launch for C. Goodman, Coastal state jurisdiction over living resources in the exclusive economic zone (Oxford University Press, 2021), 22 September 2022, at the ANU College of Law. For more information see here.

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Seminar: Elon Musk and the Law of the Sea

The Faculty of Law (University of Oslo) will host the next seminar in their seminar series (Delimitation agreements, Sovereignty, and Jurisdiction Claims: Current Trends, Recent Cases and Future Perspectives), entitled, Elon Musk and the Law of the Sea, 5 September 2022, in a hybrid format (UIO/Zoom). For more information see here.

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COSIS: Support Vanuatu Initiative to Seek an ICJ Advisory Opinion on Climate Change

On 26 August 2022 the Commission of Small Island Developing States on Climate Change and International Law (current composition: Antigua and Barbuda, Tuvalu and Palau; previously reported) met virtually, including conferral with 14 appointed international experts and advisors (ACOSIS, Art. 2(3)) and approval of their recommendations in a “plan of action that is being developed”. COSIS may consider and request an advisory opinion from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ACOSIS, Art. 2(2)), but during the meeting COSIS decided to also express full support (ACOSIS, Arts 1(3), 2(1)) for the separate Vanuatu initiative to Seek an ICJ advisory opinion on climate change through a UN General Assembly request (previously reported). Finally, three COSIS working groups were established (ACOSIS, Art. 3(4)) to “advance the objectives of the Commission”. The focus of each working group is not defined, although 3 thematic topics are evident when reading ACOSIS Arts 1(3) and 2(1). For more information see the COSIS Press Release (2).

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FAO: Voluntary Guidelines for Transshipment

On 7 July 2022 the FAO Technical Consultation on Voluntary Guidelines for Transshipment adopted the Draft Voluntary Guidelines for Transshipment (Appendix E of the Draft Report of the Technical Consultation on Voluntary Guidelines for Transshipment (FAO Doc. COFI/2022/INF/10). The Voluntary Guidelines will be presented to the Thirty-Fifth Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries, 5-9 September 2022, for endorsement, after which they will become an international instrument under the FAO’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries framework. For more information see the FAO Press Release.

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2023 United Nations – The Nippon Foundation (14) Fellowships

The Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations (“OLA/DOALOS”), is welcoming applications for the 2023 session of the United Nations – The Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programme, held approximately March – December 2023. It is intended that 14 Fellowships will be offered for the 2023 session. Applications are welcome until 14 September 2022. For more information see the call and here.

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Shipping Industry: Removal of the Indian Ocean High Risk Area

A High Risk Area (HRA) in the Indian Ocean was designated by bodies representing the shipping industry in 2010 (BMP 5). Since then, various amendments to the extent of the area were made and in 2021 the IMO was informed that further revisions would occur, including development of a more dynamic threat assessment process (IMO Doc. MSC 104/8/2). On 22 August 2022 the IMO was informed by a co-authored submission (ICS, BIMCO, OCIMF, INTERTANKO, INTERCARGO and IMCA) that the Indian Ocean High Risk Area will be withdrawn on 1 January 2023 to reflect the the improved piracy situation in the region (IMO Doc. MSC 106/INF.10). The UKMTO Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) appears to be, as yet, unchanged.

UKHO, Admiralty Maritime Security Chart (MSC) Q6099, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea (8th Ed., 2020).

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Conference: States in Emergency

The 2022 London Conference on International Law, themed, States in Emergency – International Law at a Time of Reckoning, will be held 10-11 October 2022 at the QEII centre (London, UK). Panel 6 will address jurisdiction and enforcement at sea. For more information see here.

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Vacancy: Postdoc at University of Copenhagen

The Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is advertising a postdoctoral position (24 months) in the Ocean Infrastructure Group. Applications are welcome until 1 October 2022. For more information see here.

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Japan: Approval to install treated water discharge facility at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

On 22 July 2022, Pursuant to the Act on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Nuclear Reactors, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) of Japan approved the installation of an Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) treated water discharge facility at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. However, as clarified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan:

“[T]his does not mean that TEPCO can immediately start the discharge of the ALPS treated water into the sea. Before doing so, remaining processes, such as NRA’s Pre-Service Inspections to check and confirm the installation status of the discharge facilities, will continue. The discharge of the ALPS treated water into the sea will not start until after these steps are duly taken. The IAEA will continue to conduct its independent review throughout, including while these steps are taken, and the Government of Japan will carefully consider the findings and observations from the IAEA’s review”

MOFA Japan, https://www.mofa.go.jp/press/release/press4e_003146.html

For further information see the IAEA status updates and MOFA page.

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Conference: London Convention & Stockholm Declaration at 50

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Maritime University (WMU) will host a conference, entitled, Protecting the Ocean – Moving forward at 50: London Convention & Stockholm Declaration10-13 October 2022 in Malmö (Sweden) (partially hybrid). For more information see here.

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Call for Contributions: AsianSIL Voices

On 2 August 2022 the Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL) announced the launch of a new blog, entitled, AsianSIL Voices: the Blog of the Asian Society of International Law, which is now accepting unsolicited contributions. For more information and instructions for contributors see here.

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Workshop: Maritime Boundary Delimitation

The Centre for International Law (CIL) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) of the University of Wollongong shall host the 2022 edition of their workshop, Maritime Boundary Delimitation: The Interplay between Geography and International Law, 6-8 December 2022, at NUS (Singapore). For more information see here.

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Ukraine/Türkiye/Russia: Black Sea Grain Initiative

On 22 July 2022 Ukraine, the Republic of Türkiye, and the Russian Federation signed the Initiative on the safe export of foodstuffs and fertilizers, including ammonia, from Ukrainian ports (Black Sea Grain Initiative). The United Nations, represented by the UN Secretary-General, also signed as a witness. The text of the Black Sea Grain Initiative does not appear to be public, but as the Procedure for Merchant Vessels (August 2022) para. 3 details, the “purpose of this Initiative is to facilitate the safe navigation for the export of foodstuffs and fertilizers, including ammonia from the Ports of Odesa, Chernomorsk (Chornomorsk) and Yuzhny (Pivdennyi) (the Ukrainian ports)”. Within their scope of application, the rules of procedure apply as conditions of port entry or departure for said ports. On 27 July 2022 a Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) was officially inaugurated in Istanbul, comprising representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Türkiye and the United Nations to facilitate the implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The JCC “will monitor the movement of commercial vessels to ensure compliance with the initiative; focus on exporting bulk commercial grain and related food commodities only; ensure the on-site control and monitoring of cargo from Ukrainian ports; and report on shipments facilitated through the initiative”. As of 11 August 2022, it appears that 12 vessels have thereby departed Ukrainian ports under the Black Sea Grain Initiative following the unlawful use of force by Russia (UNGA Resolution ES-11/1 Aggression against Ukraine) and the impact of the conflict on grain and agricultural exports. According to a Russian Statement, the Black Sea Grain Initiative will run for 120 days, with options to renew by 120 days with the agreement of all parties.

Concurrently, on 22 July 2022 Russia and the United Nations signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Federation and the United Nations on promoting the access of Russian food products and fertilizers to world markets. According to a Russian Statement, the MoU on Russian exports of agricultural products will remain valid for 3 years.

For more information see the JCC website.

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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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