Author Archives: N.F. Coelho

Guernsey: Bailiwick’s territorial seas extended

The Bailiwick of Guernsey’s territorial seas shall increase in size on 23 July 2019. The current limit of the Bailiwick’s territorial seas is 3 nautical miles (nm) from the baselines. The new limit will be 12 nm. The territorial sea would extend to less than 12 nm wherever the distance between the baselines of the Bailiwick and the baselines of another party (France or Jersey) is less than 24 nm. Fishing access in the waters around the Bailiwick, from 0 to 12 nautical miles, will remain unchanged on the date of extension. The Bailiwick fisheries management regime will also remain the same as it was before extension until any new regime is subsequently agreed. More information is available here.

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Bailiwick of Guernsey maritime boundaries. Source: States of Guernsey.

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ICJ: court seised of dispute between Guatemala and Belize

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), was seised of a dispute between Guatemala and Belize by way of a special agreement. In 2008, the two States concluded an agreement to submit Guatemala’s territorial, insular and maritime claim to the International Court of Justice, which was subsequently amended by a protocol concluded in 2015. The Parties now request the Court to determine in accordance with applicable rules of international law as specified in Article 38(1) of the Statute of the Court any and all legal claims of Guatemala against Belize to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories, to declare the rights therein of both Parties, and to determine the boundaries between their respective territories and areas.

More information on the case and the referenda that led to it can be found in the ICJ press release, at the Belize Referendum Commission website and in a presentation held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala (in Spanish).

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Workshop: Maritime Security of Offshore Activities and Installations

The Institute for the Law of the Sea and International Marine Environmental Law shall host a workshop entitled Maritime Security and Offshore Activities and Installations: Legal Aspects. The event is set to happen on 20 June 2019 in Bremen, Germany. The programme is available here; more information can be found at the website of the IE-LOS Jean Monnet Chair on International and European Law of the Sea.

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Conference: Balancing stability and flexibility in adapting to future challenges

The KG Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea (JCLOS) is hosting a conference entitled “Balancing stability and flexibility in adapting to future challenges. The conference shall be held in Tromsø, Norway, on 19 – 20 September 2019. One of the discussion panels is entitled “The future of the law of the sea and law of the sea research in the 2020s”. More information, as well as the draft program, is available here

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ITLOS: The M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria), Provisional Measures

A request for the prescription of provisional measures under article 290, paragraph 5, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has been submitted to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in a dispute between Switzerland and Nigeria concerning the arrest and detention of the M/T “San Padre Pio”, its crew and cargo. According to the Request of Switzerland of 21 May 2019, the “San Padre Pio”, a motor tanker flying the flag of Switzerland, “was intercepted and arrested by the Nigerian Navy on 23 January 2018” while it was engaged in ship-to-ship transfers of gasoil in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Nigeria. The vessel was then ordered to proceed to Port Harcourt (Nigeria), where it is still detained. Switzerland submits that Nigeria has “breached its obligations owed to Switzerland in regard to its freedom of navigation and its right to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over the “San Padre Pio””. The request is available here.

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CLCS: Bouvetøya outer continental shelf limits clarified

The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) has clarified the extent of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles outside Bouvet Island (Bouvetøya). The CLCS recommendation is in line with Norway’s proposal submitted in 2009 and revised in 2015. This means that the Norwegian continental shelf surrounding the island amounts to about 683,730 km2, of which 195,120 km2 is beyond 200 nautical miles. The CLCS recommendation gives Norway a basis for determining the extent of the shelf outside Bouvet Island with binding effect. The Statement by the CLCS Chair, dated 29 March 2019, may be found here.

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The continental shelf at Bouvetøya. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.

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Conference: Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction: Intractable Challenges & Potential Solutions

The World Maritime University is hosting the 43rd Annual Conference of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy (COLP), University of Virginia School of Law. The event shall be held in Malmö, Sweden, from 14-17 May 2019. The conference title is Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction: Intractable Challenges & Potential Solutions and it will discuss the development of an internationally legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).  The programme is available here.

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