Current Developments

Future of whaling vis-à-vis Japan’s withdrawal from IWC

Japan conducted its first successful commercial whale hunt on July 1, 2019 since thirty years, against significant resistance from the international community, after it had formally withdrawn from the International Convention on the Regulations of Whaling (ICRW) in December 2018 by exercising the ‘opting out’ clause. The recommencement of hunting poses pertinent questions for international law: What legal impact will the withdrawal have on the work of the International Whaling …

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Cynical International LawSymposium

An ideal at sea

International law and a ‘conflict through norm-genesis’ approach

International law is supposed to establish peace and prevent inter-state conflicts. At the same time, it is the central means for states to legitimize and communicate their claims in respect of the international community. For instance, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was designed to act as the ‘constitution for the oceans’ and to ‘promote the maintenance of international peace and security’ (Koh, 1982). Today, …

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Interview

With a diplomatic solution, there would be no loser.

An interview with Rüdiger Wolfrum on the situation in the Strait of Hormuz

The Strait of Hormuz is one of the most important waterways worldwide. Nearly one fifth of the global transport of oil and about one quarter of the production of liquefied natural gas are shipped through the Strait that is only a few kilometers wide. On 19 July 2019, Iran detained the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero in this strait. Iran argued that, among other things, the ship had collided with a …

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Interview

Bei einer diplomatischen Lösung gibt es keinen Verlierer

Interview mit Rüdiger Wolfrum zur Lage in der Straße von Hormus

Die Straße von Hormus ist einer der wichtigsten Wasserwege. Knapp ein Fünftel der globalen Öl-Transporte und etwa ein Viertel der weltweiten Produktion von Flüssiggas passieren jährlich die wenige Kilometer breite Schifffahrtsroute. Am 19. Juli 2019 setze der Iran in dieser Meerenge den unter britischer Flagge fahrenden Tanker Stena Impero fest. Von iranischer Seite heißt es, das Schiff habe unter anderem ein iranisches Fischerboot gerammt und anschließend nicht auf dessen Notsignale reagiert. …

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Current Developments

Ukrainische Matrosen bald auf der Heimreise?

Zur Entscheidung des ITLOS zu vorläufigen Maßnahmen in der Sache Ukraine v. Russia

Russland muss drei ukrainische Kriegsschiffe und 24 inhaftierte Crewmitglieder unverzüglich freilassen. Das hat der Internationale Seegerichtshof (ITLOS) am 25. Mai 2019 in einem Verfahren zum einstweiligen Rechtsschutz im Case concerning the detention of three Ukrainian naval vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation) entschieden. Diesen vorläufigen Maßnahmen („provisional measures“) ging ein Zwischenfall im Schwarzen Meer am 25. November 2018 voraus, bei dem Russland die ukrainischen Kriegsschiffe Berdyansk, Nikopol und Yani Kapu angriff und samt …

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Current Developments

The alleged seizure of the El Hiblu 1 by rescued migrants

Not a case of piracy under the law of the sea

On 28 March 2019, a Maltese patrol vessel intercepted the Palau-flagged tanker vessel El Hiblu 1 (IMO: 9753258) at the outer limit of Malta’s territorial sea, and the ship was subsequently boarded and secured by a Maltese special operations team using a helicopter. The reason for this operation was that the El Hiblu 1 had allegedly been hijacked by members of a group of migrants it had rescued earlier, and that these migrants had …

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Current Developments

The C-Star’s Odyssey and the International Law of the Sea

In Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey”, the Greek hero Odysseus, having left his home Ithaca to help bring Helena back from Troy, faced manifold hardships on his return across the Mediterranean Sea. In July 2017, European citizens set sail in a self-prescribed mission not to bring someone home, but to prevent others from calling Europe home. The loosely affiliated Generation Identity, consisting mostly of activists from Austria, France, Germany and …

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DiscussionResponse

The battle against transnational fisheries crime

Jurisdictional challenges

The raison d’être of the concept of transnational ‘fisheries crime’ (TFC) (INTERPOL 2013) or ‘marine resource crime’ (UNODC 2011) can be traced to endemic illicit activities in the fisheries sector which, due to their devastating impacts, are increasingly considered as a serious problem worthy of attention as ‘criminal’ rather than merely ‘illegal’ behaviour. In terms of scope and approach, TFC is a broader and perhaps more ambitious successor of the …

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Practitioner's Corner

Practitioner’s Corner: Project management – the missing part in law books

The “Practitioner’s Corner” gives the floor to practicing international lawyers. Their accounts illustrate the diversity of work within the field of international law and offer personal insights into the practice of international law. My name is Francesca Caonero. I’m from Italy and am currently an Associate Expert at the United Nations (UN). Associate experts are generally individuals participating in the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) programme. The JPO is a programme …

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DiscussionResponse

Owada and the whale: a Rejoinder

The arguments provided by James Harrison as to why the ICJ conducted an inversion of the burden of proof in the Whaling Case appear sound and conclusive; but they are also widely speculative. As he himself underlines, even though the award of the Court implies an interpretation of the ICRW notwithstanding clause as put forward by one of the parties in trial – namely the applicant – it does not …

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