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.
The Second Biennial Conference of the South Asia International Economic Law Network (SAIELN), entitled, The Law of the Blue Economy: International and South Asian Perspectives, will be held 27-28 July 2019 in Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala, India). Abstracts are welcome until 27 May 2019.
For more information see here, and submissions here.
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.
The Research Group on International Law and Governance (University of Oslo) and the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) shall host a conference, entitled, The Rule of Law for Oceans, 4-5 November 2019 at the University of Oslo (Oslo, Norway). Abstracts accompanied by a short resume are accepted until 15 August 2019.
For more information see here.
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.
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.
The ongoing dispute concerning the potential drilling activities of the Turkish drill ship ‘Fatih’ within the Eastern Mediterranean has triggered Cyprus to deposit with the United National Secretary General a list of geographical coordinates of points concerning the northern and north-western outer limits of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf.
The maritime zone notification and geographical points were deposited on the 7 May 2019, as per UNCLOS, article 75(2) and article 84(2). Turkey claims the hydrocarbon exploration is within its rights under international law, while Cyprus, Greece and the EU have condemned any drilling by the vessel ‘Fatih’ as a violation of Cypriot rights. The USA refers to the area as ‘claimed’ by Cyprus and likely to raise tensions, while Egypt also raised concerns.