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.
Cruise ships have contributed to the spread of covid-19 around the world and State responses to the pandemic have needed to account for the presence of these ships in their ports and the medical treatment of both passengers and crew on board. This contribution outlines the key bodies of international law that must be brought to bear in deciding on State action in response to cruise ships and their covid-19 cases: the law of the sea, international health law, shipping conventions and especially treaties protecting the rights of seafarers, international human rights law and laws relating to consular assistance. While these laws tend to reinforce each other, it is argued that the need for humanitarian considerations to feature strongly in State decision-making is challenged by systemic weaknesses.
The Timor Sea Conciliation was the first compulsory conciliation under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (unclos), commencing in 2016 and concluding with the release of the Conciliation Commission’s Report and Recommendations in May 2018. The use of this mechanism prompts the question as to whether this is a harbinger for resort to conciliation to resolve other outstanding maritime boundary disputes, or indeed for the use of conciliation more generally for other disputes. Or are the circumstances so unique that we cannot expect a flurry of conciliation proceedings in the near future? This paper seeks to explore these questions in providing: a brief background to the boundary dispute between Timor-Leste and Australia; the features of conciliation and how it has previously been used in international dispute settlement; the requirements for conciliation under unclos in relation to maritime boundary disputes and how well the dispute between Timor-Leste and Australia met these requirements; the process and achievements of the conciliation commission in resolving the Timor-Leste / Australia maritime boundary dispute and what is anticipated under unclos in the follow-up to a conciliation of a maritime boundary dispute.