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Law of the Sea and the UN Conventions

 

"The Charter of the United Nations requires all Members of the Organization to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security are not endangered. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea builds on this commitment by providing a compulsory and binding framework for the peaceful settlement of all related disputes." *

 

SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES MECHANISM UNDER UNCLOS

Includes links to Choice of Procedure, List of conciliators and arbitrators, and List of experts.

Choice of Procedure: Official Declarations and Statements under article 287 (click on name of country) of the Convention and optional exceptions to applicability of Part XV, Section 2, under article 298 of the Convention, are available at the Treaty Section of the UN's Office of Legal Affairs (click on name of country)

List of conciliators and arbitrators nominated under article 2 of annexes V and VII to the Convention (scroll all the way down to find the list)

List of experts for the purposes of article 2 of Annex VIII (Special Arbitration) to the Convention. Separate lists of experts are maintained for the specialized fields of 1) fisheries, 2) protection and preservation of the marine environment, (3) marine scientific research, and (4) navigation, including pollution from vessels and by dumping

 

 * From UN websites (viewed August 15, 2016)

Law of the Sea Convention, 1982 Choice of procedure

Article 287, Part XV Settlement of Disputes (click on Part XV in the left index column)

Article 287, Part XV, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea provides that “When signing, ratifying or acceding to this Convention or at any time thereafter, a State shall be free to choose, by means of a written declaration, one or more of the following means for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention:

 (a) the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea established in accordance with Annex VI;

(b) the International Court of Justice;

(c) an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII;

(d) a special arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII for one or more of the categories of disputes specified therein.”

 

ITLOS and dispute settlement

 Jurisdiction of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

See Contentious jurisdiction (Article 297 of UNCLOS) and Declarations under Article 298 of UNCLOS

The Tribunal has jurisdiction over all disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention, subject to the provisions of article 297 and to the declarations made in accordance with article 298 of the Convention.

Article 297 and declarations made under article 298 of the Convention do not prevent parties from agreeing to submit to the Tribunal a dispute otherwise excluded from the Tribunal's jurisdiction under these provisions (Convention, article 299).

The Tribunal also has jurisdiction over all disputes and all applications submitted to it pursuant to the provisions of any other agreement conferring jurisdiction on the Tribunal. A number of multilateral agreements conferring jurisdiction on the Tribunal have been concluded to date.

Advisory jurisdiction

The Seabed Disputes Chamber is competent to give an advisory opinion on legal questions arising within the scope of the activities of the Assembly or Council of the International Seabed Authority (article 191 of the Convention).

The Tribunal may also give an advisory opinion on a legal question if this is provided for by "an international agreement related to the purposes of the Convention" (Rules of the Tribunal, article 138).