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Some Reflections on the First Request to the Seabed Disputes Chamber for an Advisory Opinion

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Chapter Summary

In September 2010, the advisory jurisdiction of the Seabed Disputes Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) was invoked for the first time since the Tribunal was established in 1996 with the issuance of a request to the Chamber from the Council of the International Seabed Authority. The subject matter of the request - the responsibilities and liabilities of sponsoring States under Part XI of the Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention and the 1994 Implementation Agreement - raises important issues of interpretation of the provisions of the Convention relating to environmental protection. This chapter reviews some of the background to the request for an advisory opinion, which was initially proposed by Nauru, and reflects on some of the potential implications for the International Seabed Authority, governments and industry of the forthcoming advisory opinion.

Keywords:International Seabed Authority; ITLOS; Law of the Sea; Nauru; Seabed Disputes Chamber



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