This article examines the interaction under LOSC of the powers of international courts and tribunals to order binding provisional measures and the obligation of states to make every effort to enter into provisional arrangements pending the delimitation of a maritime boundary. The importance of provisional measures or arrangements in delimiting maritime boundaries, previous state and judicial practice related to provisional arrangements and measures, and the relevant substantive and procedural rules under LOSC are all explored as a means of explaining how courts and tribunals should exercise their powers of ordering provisional measures when provisional arrangements are required. It is argued here that an international court or tribunal should exercise caution in order to ensure that the procedural mechanism complements, rather than conflicts with, the substantive obligation. To this end, provisional measures entailing recommendations, duties of cooperation and obligations of non-aggravation are to be preferred.
The South China Sea Arbitration raises important questions about the potential operation of the dispute settlement system enshrined in Part xv of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (losc). This article explores the scope and different limitations that we are seeing in the interpretation of the losc dispute settlement regime with a particular focus on the South China Sea Arbitration. This examination questions the contours of the losc Part xv dispute settlement regime and its utility in resolving disputes relating to the South China Sea.