Monday, February 23, 2009

32nd Telders International Law Moot Court Competition (16-18 April 2009)


The Mare Liberum Case

Case concerning sovereignty over Abundantia Ridge and other matters.
Rosmarus v Urusus.

From 16 - 18 April 2009 the 32nd Telders International Law Moot Court Competition will be held at the Peace Palace in The Hague. The Telders Moot Court Competition could be considered the most prestigious and important international moot court competition in Europe.

The Telders Moot Court Competition is named after Professor dr. Benjamin Marius Telders, who first became a professor of international law at Leiden University in 1931. In 1947, former students of Professor Telders founded the Telders Society for International Law (Telders Dispuut). The first Telders International Law Moot Court Competition was organised in 1977 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Telders Society for International Law. The Competition has been held annually ever since.[1]


Prof. dr. B.M. Telders (1903-1945)

The student teams, composed of 4 students each, have to defend two States which are in a fictitious dispute. Only the student teams from the universities that have won the national rounds will participate in the Moot Court Competition held in The Hague. The fictitious case is put before a Moot Court version of the International Court of Justice of the United Nations. The memorials and oral argumentations of all teams representing the two fictitious States are judged by legal experts such as Judges from the International Court of Justice, the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal and prominent academics and jurists specialized in public international law.

This year the fictitious case presented before the International Court of Justice concerns a dispute between the two States Rosmarus and Urusus regarding sovereignty over Abundantia Ridge, a mountainous piece of land approximately 150 kilometers in length running along the seabed of the Grotius Sea just beyond the 200mile EEZ of Urusus:

“The Mare Liberum Case. Case concerning sovereignty over Abundantia Ridge and other matters. Rosmarus v Urusus”.


"This case concerns a claim for damages by the State of Rosmarus following an accidental explosion and leak at an offshore oil rig operated by the State of Urusus and the seizure of an Urusus flagged fishing vessel by the State of Rosmarus. It involves issues of public international law, including the law of the sea, the law of treaties and international environmental law." [2]

You can find the complete 2009 Telders Case at the website of the Telders Moot Court Competition . For clarifications of the Mare Liberum Case look here and for a map of the two States and the Grotius Sea go here.

If you are interested in the legal facets of the case, you can search our Online Public Library Catalogue for books and articles about e.g.:


International Environmental Law and Oil Pollution

International Environmental Law:
-
Keyword search:
Droit international de l'environnement / International Environmental Law
- Or systematic code search: 160p.

Oil:
-
Keyword search:
Pétrole et produits pétroliers / Oil
- Or systematic code search: 9g.

Oil Companies:
-
Keyword search:
Industrie pétrolière / Petroleum industry
- Or systematic code search: 9g.

Environmental Pollution:
- Keyword search:
Pollution de l'environnment / Environmental Pollution
- Or systematic code search: 160p (international law) and 368a1 * for municipal environmental law (368a1 * followed by country in French, E.g. 368a1 France).

Marine pollution:
- Keyword search:
Pollution des eaux de la mer / Marine pollution
- Or systematic code search: 97p and 160p.

Transboundary Pollution:
- Keyword search:
Pollution transfrontalière / Transboundary pollution
- Or systematic code search: 160p.

Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel, 22 March 1989):
- Keyword search:
Convention de Bâle sur le contrôle des mouvements transfrontières de déchets dangereux et de leur élimination (Bâle, 22 mars 1989) / Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel, 22 March 1989)
- Or systematic code search: 160p.

Environmental damage:
- Keyword search: Dommages environnementaux / Environmental damage

- Or systematic code search: 160p.


Marine environment protection:
- Keyword search:
Protection du milieu marin / Marine environment protection
- Systematic code search: 96, 97p and 160p.


Vessel source pollution

Vessel source pollution:
-
Keyword search: Pollution provenant des navires / Vessel source pollution
-Or systematic code search: 97p and 145.

Ships / Vessels:
-
Keyword search:
Navires / Vessels
- Or systematic code search: 96.


Law of the Sea, Maritime Law

Law of the sea in general:
-
Keyword search: Law of the sea / Droit de la mer
- Or systematic code search: 96.


International maritime law:
-
Keyword search:
International maritime law / Droit maritime international
- Or systematic code search: 145.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982):

- Keyword search:
Convention des Nations Unies sur le droit de la mer (Montego-Bay, 10 décembre 1982) / United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Montego-Bay, 10 December 1982)
- Or systematic code search: 96.

Seabed:
-
Keyword search: Fond de la mer / Deep seabed
- Or systematic code search: 97f.

Continental shelf :
- Keyword search: Plateau continental / Continental shelf
- Or systematic code search: 97a.

Exclusive Economic Zone:

- Keyword search:
Zone économiques exclusive / Exclusive Economic Zone
- Or systematic code search: 97a.

Territorial Waters:
- Keyword search:
Mer territoriale / Territorial sea
- or systematic code search: 96a.

Fisheries:
-
Keyword search:
Pêche / Fisheries
- Or systematic code search: 98.

Fish:
-
Keyword search:
Poissons / Fish
- Or systematic code search: 98.

UN Fish Stock Agreement (1995):
-
Keyword search:
Accord aux fins de l'application des dispositions de la Convention des Nations Unies sur le droit de la mer du 10 décembre 1982 relatives à la conservation et à la gestion des stocks de poissons […] / UN Fish Stocks Agreement 1995
- Or systematic code search: 98.


Law of Treaties

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969):
- Keyword search:
Convention de Vienne sur le droit des traités / Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
- Or systematic code search: 131.


Links

Telders International Law Moot Court Competition website

Telders 2009 Case

Clarifications Mare Liberum Case


Foo
tnotes

[1] As quoted from the website of the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition: Telders International Law Moot Court Competition, URL = http://www.grotiuscentre.org/com/doc.asp?DocID=346
[2] As quoted from the website of the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition Telders Case 2009: Telders International Law Moot Court Competition, URL = http://www.grotiuscentre.org/com/doc.asp?DocID=355

Friday, February 13, 2009

Al-Bashir Arrest Warrant!

On Thursday, 12 February, the International Criminal Court (ICC) informed the media that no decision had yet been taken by the Pre-Trial Chamber on last year’s application of Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo for an arrest warrant against the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The statement came in reaction to an article in the New York Times on Wednesday that the ICC had actually decided to issue the arrest warrant for al –Bashir.

Last week the African Union and the Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations (UN) requested the UN Security Council (SC) to delay the charges against the Sudanese President for alleged crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur. Both requested the SC to invoke Article 16 of the Rome Statute, which allows the SC to pass a resolution under chapter VII of the UN Charter that would suspend proceedings against al-Bashir for 12 months.

The African Union expressed its concern that an indictment of the Sudanese President would pose a threat to the peace process in Sudan. In November 2008 al-Bashir agreed to an unconditional cease-fire in Darfur. In the recent past, however, a majority of SC members have argued that, in view of the continuing violence, the case should go forward. The resolution for which the African Union is asking would require an affirmative vote of at least 9 of the 15 members including the 5 permanent members.

At a press conference last Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that whatever decision the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber might take “it will be very important for President Bashir and the Sudanese Government to react very responsibly and ensure the safety and security of the United Nations peacekeepers, and protect the human rights of all the population there, and also faithfully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. And he should fully cooperate with whatever decisions that the ICC makes. This is a very important fundamental principle that he should take.”

Monday, February 9, 2009

First Lady of International Law

Tuesday last week the First Lady of International Law, Rosalyn Higgins, President of the International Court of Justice bade farewell to her colleagues at the Court in The Hague, after serving nearly fourteen years as judge and as its President.
This event coincided with the presentation of her latest book “Themes and Theories. Selected speeches and writings in International Law” (OUP 2009). An impressive collection of her thoughts over the last forty years. Ten chapters on various aspects of international law, reflected in articles, speeches, lectures and in her work as a member of the International Court of Justice.
Oxford University Press kindly donated this two volume set to the Peace Palace Library, completing the collection of Higgins' publications.

The Library hopes that Dame Higgins, having spent so many years in The Hague, the Legal Capital of the World, will continue to be inspired by its excellent possibilities for research in international law.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)

On Tuesday 3 February 2009 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rendered its Judgment in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine). A public sitting took place at 10 a.m. at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which the President of the Court, Judge Rosalyn Higgins, read the Court’s Judgment :

In its Judgment, which is final, binding and without appeal, the Court unanimously

“Decides that starting from Point 1, as agreed by the Parties in Article 1 of the 2003 State Border Régime Treaty, the line of the single maritime boundary delimiting the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zones of Romania and Ukraine in the Black Sea shall follow the 12-nautical-mile arc of the territorial sea of Ukraine around Serpents’ Island until Point 2 (with co-ordinates 45° 03' 18.5" N and 30° 09' 24.6" E) where the arc intersects with the line equidistant from Romania’s and Ukraine’s adjacent coasts. From Point 2 the boundary line shall follow the equidistance line through Points 3 (with co-ordinates 44° 46' 38.7" N and 30° 58' 37.3" E) and 4 (with co-ordinates 44° 44' 13.4" N and 31° 10' 27.7" E) until it reaches Point 5 (with co-ordinates 44° 02' 53.0" N and 31° 24' 35.0" E). From Point 5 the maritime boundary line shall continue along the line equidistant from the opposite coasts of Romania and Ukraine in a southerly direction starting at a geodetic azimuth of 185° 23' 54.5" until it reaches the area where the rights of third States may be affected.”

For accompanying map, see Course of the maritime boundary as established by the Court in its Judgment

History of the dispute

In short, the Parties disagreed on the course of a single maritime boundary to be established between the two States, thereby delimiting the continental shelf and the economic zones appertaining to them. In this respect the presence of Serpents’ Island, a small island situated in the north-western part of the Black Sea, approximately 20 nautical miles east of the Danube delta, played an important role. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine inherited control over the island.


Serpents' Island, also known as Snake Island, (Black Sea)

In 1997, Romania and Ukraine signed a treaty in which both states "reaffirm that the existing border between them is inviolable and therefore, they shall refrain, now and in future, from any attempt against the border, as well as from any demand, or act of, seizure and usurpation of part or all the territory of the Contracting Party". Romania agreed with the terms of the treaty, as it opened for the country a door to NATO. However, both sides agreed that if no resolution on maritime borders could be reached within two years, then either side could go to the International Court of Justice to seek a final ruling.

History of the proceedings

On 16 September 2004, Romania indeed filed an
Application instituting proceedings against Ukraine in respect of a dispute “concerning the establishment of a single maritime boundary between the two States in the Black Sea, thereby delimiting the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zones appertaining to them”. Romania stated that on 2 June 1997 Ukraine and itself signed a Treaty on Relations of Co-operation and Good-Neighbourliness, as well as an Additional Agreement, by which the two States committed themselves to finding agreement on the above-mentioned matters. Romania contended that negotiations held since 1998 have been inconclusive. Romania invoked Article 4 (h) of the Additional Agreement, which provides the dispute to be brought to the International Court of Justice. Later on Romania filed its Memorial and Ukraine its Counter-Memorial. By an Order of 30 June 2006, the Court authorized the filing of a Reply by Romania and a Rejoinder by Ukraine. Public hearings in the Great Hall of Justice were held in the case from 2 to 19 September 2008.

----------------------------------------------
For more information on this case :

Peace Palace Library systematic codes : 96a, 97a, 189d

Peace Palace Library keywords : International Court of Justice, Romania, Ukraine, Black Sea, continental shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone, maritime borders, demarcation, jurisprudence, cases

ICJ documents :

Application
- 16 September 2004 Application instituting proceedings
PDF 11.8 Mb

Written Proceedings
- 19 August 2005 Memorial of Romania
PDF 8.1 Mb
- 19 May 2006 Counter-memorial of Ukraine
PDF 36.1 Mb
- 22 December 2006 Reply of Romania
PDF 98.3 Mb
- 7 July 2007 Rejoinder of Ukraine
PDF 17.8 Mb

Oral Proceedings

- CR 2008/18 Public sitting held on Tuesday 2 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 397 Kb
- CR 2008/19 Public sitting held on Wednesday 3 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 463.4 Kb Translation PDF 486.3 Kb
- CR 2008/20 Public sitting held on Thursday 4 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 443.1 Kb Translation PDF 409.2 Kb
- CR 2008/21 Public sitting held on Friday 5 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 364 Kb Translation PDF 332.4 Kb
- CR 2008/24 Public sitting held on Tuesday 9 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 292.1 Kb Translation PDF 253.7 Kb
- CR 2008/26 Public sitting held on Wednesday 10 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 297.1 Kb Translation PDF 239.3 Kb
- CR 2008/28 Public sitting held on Thursday 11 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 320.4 Kb Translation PDF 282.8 Kb
- CR 2008/29 Public sitting held on Friday 12 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 289.9 Kb Translation PDF 217.4 Kb
- CR 2008/30 Public sitting held on Monday 15 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 400.4 Kb Translation PDF 445.3 Kb
- CR 2008/31 Public sitting held on Tuesday 16 September 2008, at 10 a.m., at the Peace Palace, Vice-President Al-Khasawneh, Acting President, presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 328.6 Kb Translation PDF 344.3 Kb
- CR 2008/32 Public sitting held on Thursday 18 September 2008, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 369.3 Kb Translation PDF 328 Kb
- CR 2008/33 Public sitting held on Friday 19 September 2008, at 3 p.m., at the Peace Palace, President Higgins presiding, in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine)
Original
PDF 196.3 Kb Translation PDF 144.3 Kb

Orders

- Order of 19 November 2004 Fixing of time-limits: Memorial and Counter-Memorial
PDF 508.3 Kb
- Order of 30 June 2006 Authorizing of submission of Reply and Rejoinder; Fixing of time-limits
PDF 39 Kb
- Order of 8 June 2007 Extension of time-limit: Rejoinder
PDF 12 Kb

Press releases

-
16/01/2009 - 2009/2 - Court to deliver its Judgment on Tuesday 3 February 2009 at 10 a.m.
-
19/09/2008 - 2008/29 - Conclusion of the public hearings - Court begins its deliberation
-
24/07/2008 - 2008/22 - The Court will hold public hearings from Tuesday 2 to Friday 19 September 2008
-
11/06/2007 - 2007/17 - Extension of time-limit for the filing of Ukraine’s Rejoinder
-
03/07/2006 - 2006/24 - The Court fixes time-limits for the filing of a Reply and a Rejoinder
-
19/11/2004 - 2004/34 - Fixing of time-limits for the filing of written pleadings
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16/09/2004 - 2004/31 - Romania brings a case against Ukraine to the Court in a dispute concerning the maritime boundary between the two States in the Black Sea