Category Archives: Jurisprudence

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

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has delivered its Order of 6 July 2019 in respect of Case No. 27, The M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria), Provisional MeasuresThe Tribunal concluded that prima facie the UNCLOS Annex VII arbitral tribunal would have jurisdiction over the submitted dispute. The Tribunal prescribed various provisional measures under Article 290(5) of UNCLOS.

For an overview see the press release. Two Declarations, one Joint Declaration, three Separate Opinions and four Dissenting Opinions were appended to the Order of 6 July 2019, available here.

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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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ITLOS: Case concerning the detention of three Ukrainian naval vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), Provisional Measures

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has delivered its Order of 25 May 2019 in respect of Case No. 26, Case concerning the detention of three Ukrainian naval vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), Provisional Measures. The Tribunal concluded that prima facie the UNCLOS Annex VII arbitral tribunal would have jurisdiction over the submitted dispute. The Tribunal prescribed various provisional measures under Article 290(5) of UNCLOS.

For an overview see the press release. Two Declarations, three Separate Opinions and one Dissenting Opinion were appended to the Order of 25 May 2019, available here. Ukraine and Russia have both responded through their respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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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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Netherlands/Russia: Settlement Concerning the Arctic Sunrise

Without prejudice to their legal positions in The Arctic Sunrise Arbitration (Netherlands v. Russia), Russia and The Netherlands have reached a full and final settlement of dispute in respect of the Arctic Sunrise incident of September 2013. The agreement remains confidential, but the Joint Statement of 17 May 2019 nonetheless recognizes an understanding upon the rights and responsibilities of both the coastal state and flag state in the EEZ. This includes recognition of the rights related to peaceful protest. Joint Russian-Dutch research in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation is also promoted.

See the Joint Statement here and here.

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ITLOS: Case concerning the detention of three Ukrainian naval vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), Provisional Measures

On the 16 April 2019, Ukraine submitted a request to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) for the prescription of provisional measures under UNCLOS, Article 290(5)  in a dispute between Ukraine and the Russian Federation concerning the immunity of three Ukrainian naval vessels and the twenty-four servicemen on board.

For more information see Case No. 26 and the press releases of ITLOS, Ukraine MFA and Russia MFA.

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ITLOS: Judgment in The M/V “Norstar” Case (Panama v. Italy)

On the 10 April 2019, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) delivered its Judgment in The M/V “Norstar” Case (Panama v. Italy). The Tribunal found that Italy had violated UNCLOS, Article 87(1) (by 15 votes to 7), that UNCLOS, Article 87(2) was not applicable to the case (unanimously), and that Italy did not violate UNCLOS, Article 300 (20 votes to 2). ITLOS decided to award Panama compensation (with interest) for the loss of the M/V “Norstar” (15 votes to 7).

For more information, see the Judgement and furthermore the case page for numerous Declarations, Separation Opinions and a Joint Dissenting Opinion. As previously reported, incidental proceedings occurred in respect of Preliminary Objections.

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