The Ireland v United Kingdom (Mox Plant) Case: Applying the Doctrine of Treaty Parallelism

in The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
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This article analyses the 2001 Mox Plant (Provisional Measures) Order - the second instance of ITLOS acting under the innovatory LOSC Article 290(5) - pending the establishment of the Annex VII Mox Plant Arbitral Tribunal. An OSPAR Mox Plant Arbitration is also pending. The article analyses key aspects of the 2001 Order including the low thresholds for prima facie jurisdiction and the fundamental requirement of urgency, the distinctive treatment of "substantive" and "procedural" rights and the basis for the tribunals reliance on the precautionary principle, which is in the regional treaties concerned, but not in the LOSC. These issues are scrutinized in the light of the application of the doctrine of treaty parallelism as expounded by the 2000 Southern Bluefin Tuna (Jurisdiction and Admissibility) Award. The article argues that the legitimacy of the Order could have been increased had ITLOS defined the Mox Plant dispute as an EU-law centered dispute, and it concludes with the hope that the Mox Plant case will provide an incentive for the European Community as party to LOSC to give closer and constructive consideration to its policy on the settlement of ocean and other environmental disputes.



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