Law of the Sea

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Turkel Committee Publishes Mavi Marmara Report

Today an Israeli inquiry, the Turkel Committee, published the first part of its report on the Mavi Marmara incident and the lawfulness of the Gaza blockade generally, finding that Israel acted in accordance with international law (full report; summary; BBC News article). An earlier UN inquiry reached the opposite conclusion – for a critique see Yuval Shany’s post; for previous coverage see this post by Dapo.  I have not had the time to read the report, let alone digest it, but on a quick skim I saw, inter alia, that the report qualified the Israel/Hamas conflict as an international armed conflict, thus enabling the creation of a blockade, without however articulating a clear theory in that regard. The report also somewhat more controversially alleges that a blockade would be permissible even if the conflict was non-international in nature (see paras. 37-44).

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Know Your Rights! The Flotilla Report and International Law Governing Naval Blockades

Yuval Shany is the Hersch Lauterpacht Chair in Public International Law at the Law Faculty at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The author thanks Prof. David Kretzmer, Adv. Gil Limon and Adv. Rotem Giladi for useful comments to an earlier draft. The usual disclaimers apply. The Report of the “international fact-finding mission to investigate…

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The Hamburg Tribunal Heats Up? Is ITLOS now in Business?

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which is based in Hamburg, is holding hearings this week in  advisory proceedings before that Tribunal. The case concerns Responsibilities and obligations of States sponsoring persons and entities with respect to activities in the International Seabed Area  and the request for the…

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UN Secretary General Sets Out Options for dealing with Piracy off Somalia

The United Nations Secretary General has recently submitted a report to the Security Council in which he sets out 7 options for dealing with piracy off the coast of Somalia. The incidence of piracy off the coast of Somalia continues to be very high. “7. … The number of attacks off the…

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Prosecuting pirates in national courts: US v Said and piracy under US law

On August 17, a US District Court handed down a fascinating piece of statutory interpretation that apparently means that unless a Somali pirate succeeds in stealing something, he cannot be charged with piracy under US law. There have been a number of national piracy trials taking place in Western States, notably in the US and the…

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