Developments in international law of the sea and maritime governance

5 December 2016 | by Editorial Board

I. Institute of International Law

The Institute of International Law has adopted a Resolution on The Legal Regime of Wrecks of Warships and Other State-owned Ships in International Law” at its 77th session held in Tallinn, Estonia in August 2015. Professor Natalino Ronzitti was the Rapporteur who prepared the Preliminary report as well as the Addendum to the Report of the Tallin Session. The Resolution contributes to the clarification of international law concerning sunken State vessels and builds on the preparatory works held at the Rhodes Session in 2011 and Tallinn session in 2015.

For the text of the Resolution see

For the preparatory works and the plenary discussion of the 2011 Rhodes Session see Annuaire de l’Institut de droit international, Vol. 74, Session de Rhodes (Grèce) 2011. For the preparatory works and the deliberations of the 2015 Tallin session see Annuaire de l’Institut de droit international, Volume 76, Session de Tallinn (Estonie), 2015, pp. 131-177

Selected Bibliography

Sarah Dromgoole, “The Legal Regime of Wrecks of Warships and Other State-Owned Ships in International Law: The 2015 Resolution of the Institut de Droit International”, Italian Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 25, Issue 1, 2016, pp. 179-200.

II. World Heritage Centre – IUCN

The 2016 Report entitled “World Heritage in the High Seas: An Idea Whose Time has Come” addresses the issue of marine sites of outstanding universal value protection in areas beyond national jurisdiction where the 1972 World Heritage Convention does not apply. The Report, a joint venture of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), provides examples of potential areas of outstanding universal value beyond national jurisdiction as well as different scenarios that could be applied in order to overcome the existing institutional and legal shortcomings in this domain.

For the text of the Report see

Selected Bibliography

Ameer Abdulah, David Obura, Bastian Bertzky, and Yichuan Shi.Marine Natural Heritage and the World Heritage List. Interpretation of World Heritage Criteria in Marine Systems, Analysis of Biogeographic Representation of Sites, and a Roadmap for Addressing Gaps. Paris: UNESCO, 2013.

III. European Union – European Commission and the EU High Representative

A joint Communication by the European Commission and the EU High Representative entitled “International ocean governance agenda for the future of our oceans” was published in November 2016. The Communication presents the agenda of the two institutions in the domain of international ocean governance and the actions to be pursued by the EU in the following years in relation to the improvement of the international ocean governance framework, including fisheries management, cooperation and coordination with relevant international organizations, capacity-building and safety and security of seas and oceans.

For the text of the Communication see

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