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Case Concerning the Detention of Three Ukrainian Naval Vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation): Provisional Measures Order (ITLOS)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 December 2019

Yurika Ishii*
Affiliation:
Dr. Yurika Ishii is Associate Professor at National Defense Academy of Japan. The views expressed in this Note are the author's own and do not represent the views of her institution.

Extract

On May 25, 2019, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) issued a provisional measures order to the Russian Federation to release two Ukrainian warships, a naval auxiliary ship, and their servicemen. This case adds to the jurisprudence concerning the Tribunal's institutional authority to issue a provisional measures order under Article 290(5) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Type
International Legal Documents
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 by The American Society of International Law

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References

1 Case Concerning the Detention of Three Ukrainian Naval Vessels (Ukraine v. Russ.), Provisional Measures, Case No. 26 (May 25, 2019) [hereinafter Order], https://www.itlos.org/fileadmin/itlos/documents/cases/case_no_26/C26_Order_25.05.pdf.

2 A case between the two states concerning coastal state rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait is already before the Annex VII tribunal. Ukraine instituted the procedure on September 16, 2016. See Dispute Concerning Coastal State Rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait (Ukraine v. the Russian Federation), https://pca-cpa.org/en/cases/149/.

3 Memorandum of the Government of the Russian Federation (May 7, 2019), https://www.itlos.org/fileadmin/itlos/documents/cases/case_no_26/Memorandum.pdf.

5 Russia ratified the treaty on March 12, 1997, Ukraine on July 26, 1999. Its declarations are available at https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetailsIII.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXI-6&chapter=21&Temp=mtdsg3&clang=_en.

6 Order, supra note 1, ¶¶ 44–45.

7 Id. ¶ 63.

8 Id. ¶ 66.

9 Id. ¶¶ 64–65.

10 Id. ¶ 68.

11 Id. ¶¶ 71–72.

12 Id. ¶ 75.

13 The latter half of this provision (“disputes concerning law enforcement activities in regard to the exercise of sovereign rights or jurisdiction excluded from the jurisdiction of a court or tribunal under article 297, paragraph 2 or 3”) was addressed in the provisional measures order in Arctic Sunrise. The "Arctic Sunrise" (Netherlands v. Russia), Provisional Measures Order, Case No. 22 (Nov. 22, 2013), ¶ 45.

14 South China Sea (Philippines v. China), Arbitration Award, PCA Case No. 2013-19 (July 12, 2016) [hereinafter South China Sea], ¶¶ 938, 1161.

15 See Yurika Ishii, The Distinction Between Military and Law Enforcement Activities: Comments on Case Concerning the Detention of Three Ukrainian Naval Vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), Provisional Measures Order, EJIL: Talk! (May 31, 2019), https://www.ejiltalk.org/the-distinction-between-military-and-law-enforcement-activities-comments-on-case-concerning-the-detention-of-three-ukrainian-naval-vessels-ukraine-v-russian-federation-provisional-measures-order/.

16 Order, supra note 1, Separate Opinion, Judge Gao, ¶ 22.

17 See Russia's Memorandum, ¶ 32; see also James Kraska, Did ITLOS Just Kill the Military Activities Exemption in Article 298?, EJIL: Talk! (May 27, 2019), https://www.ejiltalk.org/did-itlos-just-kill-the-military-activities-exemption-in-article-298/.

18 Myron H. Nordquist, Satya Nandan, and Shabtai Rosenne, eds., 5 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Commentary, ¶ 298.33 (1989). See also Natalie Klein, Dispute Settlement in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 291 (2009).

19 South China Sea, supra note 14, ¶ 938. See also Ishii, supra note 15.

20 Order, supra note 1, Declaration, Judge Kittchaisaree, ¶ 4.

21 Order, supra note 1, ¶ 36; see also ARA Libertad (Argentina v. Ghana), Provisional Measures Order, Dec. 15, 2012, 2012 ITLOS Rep. 332 [hereinafter ARA Libertad], ¶ 60.

22 Order, supra note 1, Declaration, Lijnzaad, ¶ 8.

23 Order, supra note 1, ¶¶ 97–99.

24 Id. ¶¶ 110–11.

25 ARA Libertad, supra note 21, ¶ 94.

26 Order, supra note 1, ¶112.

27 Arctic Sunrise, supra note 13. See also Douglas Guilfoyle & Cameron A. Miles, Provisional Measures and the MV Arctic Sunrise, 108 AJIL 271, 272 (2014).

28 ARA Libertad, supra note 21. See also James Kraska, The "ARA Libertad", 107 AJIL 404 (2013).

29 The M/T "San Padre Pio" (Switzerland v. Nigeria), Provisional Measures Order, ITLOS Case No. 27 (Jul. 6, 2019). See also Yurika Ishii, Comments on ITLOS, M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria), Provisional Measures Order (6 July 2019), EJIL: Talk! (Jul. 31, 2019), https://www.ejiltalk.org/comments-on-itlos-m-t-san-padre-pio-case-switzerland-v-nigeria-provisional-measures-order-6-july-2019/.

30 Families Reunite in Russia-Ukraine Prisoner Exchange, The Guardian, Sept. 7, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/07/long-awaited-russia-ukraine-prisoner-exchange-begins.

31 Talks on Return of 3 Ukrainian Naval Vessels Captured by Russia Have Begun – Commander Hrytsenko, Ukranian News, Sept. 12, 2019, https://ukranews.com/en/news/653446-talks-on-return-of-3-ukrainian-naval-vessels-captured-by-russia-have-begun-commander-hrytsenko.

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