Law of the Sea

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Conditional Decisions: A Solution for Ukraine v. Russia and Other Similar Cases?

On 21 February 2020, the tribunal in the Coastal State Rights arbitration between Ukraine and Russia rendered an award on preliminary objections. Although the tribunal decided that the case would proceed to the merits, it held that it did not have jurisdiction over any of Ukraine’s claims that would “necessarily require[] it to decide, directly or implicitly, on the sovereignty of either Party over Crimea” (para. 492(a)). This holding is understandable. As previously discussed on this blog here and here, the tribunal faced a rather complex jurisdictional problem. As a tribunal constituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), it generally had jurisdiction over claims alleging violations of the Convention. And all of Ukraine’s claims were indeed allegations that Russia had violated the Convention. Nevertheless, many of Ukraine’s claims were premised on Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea, such that a ruling by the tribunal on those claims would have required the tribunal to determine…

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The Award concerning Preliminary Objections in Ukraine v. Russia : Observations regarding the Implicated Status of Crimea and the Sea of Azov

On 21 February 2020 the arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the Dispute Concerning Coastal State Rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait (Ukraine v. the Russian Federation) rendered its…

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A Very Quick Look at the Revised Draft Text of the new Agreement on Marine Biodiversity in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction

  On 27 November 2019 the President of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the conservation of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) issued a revision of the 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…

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The ECtHR on Disembarkation of Rescued Refugees and Migrants at Greek Hotspots

The storm-tossed question of disembarking rescued refugees and migrants The pressure of mass migration in the Mediterranean on EU sea-border states calls for other member states to contribute to humanitarian efforts at sea that respect the human rights of refugees and migrants. Article 98 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC)…

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Comments on Coastal and Flag State Jurisdiction in the M/T “San Padre Pio” Dispute

The M/T “San Padre Pio” dispute between Switzerland and Nigeria arose following the interception and arrest by the Nigerian navy of the M/T “San Padre Pio” – a Swiss flagged tanker – while this was engaged in one of several Ship-to-Ship (STS) transfers of gasoil in the vicinity of the Odudu Oil Field within Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone…

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