Settlement of disputes mechanism

Last updated: 10 April 2013

Note: The up-to date official texts of declarations and statements, which contain the choice of procedure under article 287 of the Convention and optional exceptions to applicability of Part XV, Section 2, under article 298 of the Convention, are available at the web site of the Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations.


Links:      
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea International Court of Justice Arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII Special arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII
Declarations by States upon signature/ratification/accession/succession to  the Convention Declarations by States upon signature/ratification/accession/succession to 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement    

1.   Settlement of disputes mechanism under the Convention:
Choice of procedure under article 287 and optional exceptions to applicability of Part XV, Section 2, of the Convention under article 298 of the Convention

Articles 287 and 298 of the Convention read as follows:

Article 287
Choice of procedure

1.     When signing, ratifying or acceding to this Convention or at any time thereafter, a State shall be free to choose, by means of a written declaration, one or more of the following means for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention:

        (a) the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea established in accordance with Annex VI;
        (b) the International Court of Justice;
        (c) an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII;
        (d) a special arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII for one or more of the categories of disputes specified therein.

2.     A declaration made under paragraph 1 shall not affect or be affected by the obligation of a State Party to accept the jurisdiction of the Seabed Disputes Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to the extent and in the manner provided for in Part XI, section 5.

3.     A State Party, which is a party to a dispute not covered by a declaration in force, shall be deemed to have accepted arbitration in accordance with Annex VII.

4.     If the parties to a dispute have accepted the same procedure for the settlement of the dispute, it may be submitted only to that procedure, unless the parties otherwise agree.

5.     If the parties to a dispute have not accepted the same procedure for the settlement of the dispute, it may be submitted only to arbitration in accordance with Annex VII, unless the parties otherwise agree.

6.     A declaration made under paragraph 1 shall remain in force until three months after notice of revocation has been deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

7.     A new declaration, a notice of revocation or the expiry of a declaration does not in any way affect proceedings pending before a court or tribunal having jurisdiction under this article, unless the parties otherwise agree.

8.        Declarations and notices referred to in this article shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the States Parties.

Article 298
Optional exceptions to applicability of section 2

1. When signing, ratifying or acceding to this Convention or at any time thereafter, a State may, without prejudice to the obligations arising under section 1, declare in writing that it does not accept any one or more of the procedures provided for in section 2 with respect to one or more of the following categories of disputes:

        (a) (i) disputes concerning the interpretation or application of articles 15, 74 and 83 relating to sea boundary delimitations, or those involving historic bays or titles, provided that a State having made such a declaration shall, when such a dispute arises subsequent to the entry into force of this Convention and where no agreement within a reasonable period of time is reached in negotiations between the parties, at the request of any party to the dispute, accept submission of the matter to conciliation under Annex V, section 2; and provided further that any dispute that necessarily involves the concurrent consideration of any unsettled dispute concerning sovereignty or other rights over continental or insular land territory shall be excluded form such submission;
        (ii) after the conciliation commission has presented its report, which shall state the reasons on which it is based, the parties shall negotiate an agreement on the basis of that report; if these negotiations do not result in an agreement, the parties shall, by mutual consent, submit the question to one of the procedures provided for in section 2, unless the parties otherwise agree;
        (iii) this subparagraph does not apply to any sea boundary dispute finally settled by an arrangement between the parties, or to any such dispute which is to be settled in accordance with a bilateral or multilateral agreement binding upon those parties;

        (b) disputes concerning military activities, including military activities by government vessels and aircraft engaged in non-commercial service, and 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;

        (c) disputes in respect of which the Security Council of the United Nations is exercising the functions assigned to it by the Charter of the United Nations, unless the Security Council decides to remove the matter from its agenda or calls upon the parties to settle it by the means provided for in this Convention.

Recapitulative tables

State

Choice of procedure
Declarations under article 287 (numbers indicate the order of preference) [1]

Optional exceptions to applicability of Part XV, Section 2, of the Convention
(Declarations under article 298)

International Tribunal for the Law or the Sea

International Court of Justice (ICJ)

An arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII

A special arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII

Declarations indicating that the State does not accept any one or more of the procedures provided for Part XV, Section 2 (compulsory procedures entailing binding decisions) with respect to one or more of the following categories of disputes:

Algeria
(upon ratification)

NOTE: The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria does not consider itself bound by the provisions of article 287, paragraph 1 (b), of the [said Convention] dealing with the submission of disputes to the International Court of Justice.
The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria declares that, in order to submit a dispute to the International Court of Justice, prior agreement between all the Parties concerned is necessary in each case.

---

Angola
(upon ratification)

1

-

-

-

Does not accept an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII for the categories of disputes specified in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), of the Convention;

Argentina
(upon ratification)

1

-

-

2

Disputes specified in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c), of the Convention;

On 26 October 2012, the Argentine Republic in accordance with article 298 of the Convention withdrew the optional exceptions to the applicability of section 2 of part XV of the Convention provided for in that article and set forth in its declaration dated 18 October 1995 (deposited on 1 December 1995) to "military activities by government vessels and aircraft engaged in noncommercial service"

Australia
(
22 March 2002)

1

1

 

 

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), of the Convention;

Austria
(upon ratification)

1

3

-

2

---

Bangladesh
(14 December 2009)

1
(for the settlement of two specific disputes)

- - - ---

Belarus
(upon ratification)

In respect of the prompt release of detained vessels or their crews

-

1

1
For disputes relating to fisheries, the protection and preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research and navigation, including pollution from vessels and by dumping

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (b) and (c) of the Convention;

Belgium
(upon ratification)

1

1

-

-

---

Canada
(upon ratification)

1

-

1

-

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c) of the Convention;

Cape Verde
(upon ratification)

1

2

-

-

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (b), of the Convention;

Chile
(upon ratification)

1

-

-

2

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c) of the Convention;

China
(on 25 August 2006)

No choice under article 287 made

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c) of the Convention;

Croatia
(on 4 November 1999)

1

2

-

-

---

Cuba
(upon ratification)

-

Cuba rejects the ICJ jurisdiction for any types of disputes

-

-

Consequently, Cuba does not accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice with respect to the provisions of articles 297 and 298;

Denmark
(upon ratification)

-

1

Not accepted for any of the categories of disputes mentioned in article 298

-

Does not accept an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII for any of the categories of disputes mentioned in article 298

Ecuador
(upon ratification)

1

1

-

1

With regard to the provisions of article 297, paragraph 3, subparagraphs (b) (iii) and (c), Ecuador will not accept the validity of any report of the conciliation commission that substitutes its discretion for that of the Ecuadorian State in relation to the use of surplus living resources within its areas of sovereignty and jurisdiction, in application of articles 62, 69 and 70 of the Convention, or whose recommendations entail effects detrimental to Ecuadorian fishing activities;

Disputes specified in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c), of the Convention;

Egypt
(upon ratification)

-

-

1

-

---

Equatorial Guinea
(on 20 February 2002)

No choice under article 287 made

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), of the Convention;

Estonia
(upon accession)

1

1

-

-

---

Fiji
(upon ratification)

1

- - - ---

Finland
(
upon ratification)

1

1

-

-

---

France
(upon ratification)

No choice under article 287 made

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c) of the Convention;

Gabon
(23 January 2009)

No choice under article 287 made

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), of the Convention;

Germany
(
upon accession)

1

3

2

-

---

Ghana
(15 December 2009)

- - - - Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), of the Convention

Greece
(upon ratification)

1

-

-

-

---

Guinea-Bissau
(upon ratification)

-

Guinea-Bissau rejects the ICJ jurisdiction for any types of disputes;

-

-

Consequently, Guinea-Bissau does not accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice with respect to articles 297 and 298;

Honduras
(
on 18 June 2002)

-

1

-

-

---

Hungary
(upon ratification)

1

2

-

3
for all the categories of disputes specified therein

---

Iceland
(upon ratification)

No choice under article 287 made

Iceland declared that under article 298 of the Convention the right is reserved that any interpretation of article 83 shall be submitted to conciliation under Annex V, section 2, of the Convention;

Italy
(upon ratification and on 26 February 1997)

1

1

-

-

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), of the Convention;

Latvia
(on 31 August 2005)

1 1 - -

---

Lithuania
(upon accession)

1 1 - -

---

Madagascar
(on 20 December 2012)

1 - - -

---

Mexico
(on 6 January 2003)

1

1

-

1

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), and (b) of the Convention;

Montenegro
(on 20 May 2011)

1 2 - - Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), of the Convention;

Netherlands
(upon ratification)

-

1

-

-

---

Nicaragua
(upon ratification)

-

1

-

-

With respect to the categories of disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c) of the Convention, Nicaragua accepts only the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice

Norway
(upon ratification)

-

1

-

-

Norway does not accept an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII for any of the categories of disputes referred to in article 298;

Oman
(upon ratification)

1

1

-

-

---

Palau
(on 27 April 2006)

No choice under article 287 made

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), of the Convention;

Portugal
(upon ratification)

1

1

1

1

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c), of the Convention;

Republic of Korea
(on 18 April 2006)

No choice under article 287 made

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c) of the Convention;

Russian Federation
(
upon signature and ratification)

In matters relating to the prompt release of detained vessels and crews

 

1

1
For disputes relating to fisheries, the protection and preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research and navigation, including pollution from vessels and dumping

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c) of the Convention;

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
(on 22 November 2010)

1

- - - ---

Saudi Arabia
(
on 10 January 2014)

-

-

-

-

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), of the Convention; .

Slovenia
(
on 11 October 2001)

-

-

1

-

Slovenia does not accept an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII for any of the categories of disputes referred to in article 298.

Spain
(
on 19 July 2002)

1

1

-

-

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), of the Convention;

Sweden
(upon ratification)

-

1

-

-

---

Switzerland
(upon ratification)

1

- - - ---

Thailand

(upon ratification)

No choice under article 287 made

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c) of the Convention;

Timor-Leste
(upon accession

1 1 1 1 ---

Trinidad and Tobago
(17 October 2007 and 13 February 2009)

1

2

-

-

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), of the Convention;

Tunisia
(upon ratification and on 22 May 2001)

1

-

2

-

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c) of the Convention;

Ukraine
(upon ratification)

In respect of the prompt release of detained vessels or their crews

-

1

1
For disputes relating to fisheries, protection and preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research and navigation, including pollution from vessels and by dumping

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (a) and (b), of the Convention, unless otherwise provided by specific international treaties of Ukraine with relevant States;

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
(
on 12 January 1998 and 7 April 2003)

-

1

-

-

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (b) and (c), of the Convention;

United Republic of Tanzania
(upon ratification)

1

-

-

-

---

Uruguay
(
upon ratification)

1

-

-

-

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1 (b), of the Convention.



[1] This quick-reference table has been revised as at 10 April 2013. For the full texts of declarations, please visit: United Nations Treaty Collection
If number 1 appears for more than one procedure, no order of preference has been specified.

2.      Settlement of disputes mechanism under the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the Convention relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks

   Choice of procedure under article 30 of the Agreement and optional exceptions

Article 30 of the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the Convention relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks reads as follows:

Article 30
Procedures for the settlement of disputes

1.               The provisions relating to the settlement of disputes set out in Part XV of the Convention apply mutatis mutandis to any dispute between States Parties to this Agreement concerning the interpretation or application of this Agreement, whether or not they are also Parties to the Convention.

2.               The provisions relating to the settlement of disputes set out in Part XV of the Convention apply mutatis mutandis to any dispute between States Parties to this Agreement concerning the interpretation or application of a subregional, regional or global fisheries agreement relating to straddling fish stocks or highly migratory fish stocks to which they are parties, including any dispute concerning the conservation and management of such stocks, whether or not they are also Parties to the Convention.

3.               Any procedure accepted by a State Party to this Agreement and the Convention pursuant to article 287 of the Convention shall apply to the settlement of disputes under this Part, unless that State Party, when signing, ratifying or acceding to this Agreement, or at any time thereafter, has accepted another procedure pursuant to article 287 for the settlement of disputes under this Part.

4.               A State Party to this Agreement which is not a Party to the Convention, when signing, ratifying or acceding to this Agreement, or at any time thereafter, shall be free to choose, by means of a written declaration, one or more of the means set out in article 287, paragraph 1, of the Convention for the settlement of disputes under this Part.  Article 287 shall apply to such a declaration, as well as to any dispute to which such State is a party which is not covered by a declaration in force.  For the purposes of conciliation and arbitration in accordance with Annexes V, VII and VIII to the Convention, such State shall be entitled to nominate conciliators, arbitrators and experts to be included in the lists referred to in Annex V, article 2, Annex VII, article 2, and Annex VIII, article 2, for the settlement of disputes under this Part.

5.               Any court or tribunal to which a dispute has been submitted under this Part shall apply the relevant provisions of the Convention, of this Agreement and of any relevant subregional, regional or global fisheries agreement, as well as generally accepted standards for the conservation and management of living marine resources and other rules of international law not incompatible with the Convention, with a view to ensuring the conservation of the straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks concerned.


Note: The official texts of declarations, which contain choice of procedure and optional exceptions to applicability of Part XV of the Convention under article 30 of the Agreement, are available at the web site of the Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations.      

The following choices were communicated in the declarations made upon ratification of the Agreement:

State

Choice of procedure
under article 30 of the Agreement (numbers indicate the order of preference) 
[1]

Optional exceptions to applicability of Part XV of the Convention invoked under article 30 of the Agreement

International Tribunal for the Law or the Sea

International Court of Justice (ICJ)

An arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII

A special arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII

Declarations indicating that the State does not accept any one or more of the procedures provided for Part XV, Section 2 (compulsory procedures entailing binding decisions) with respect to one or more of the following categories of disputes:

Canada
(upon ratification)

-

-

1

-

Disputes referred to in article 298, paragraph 1, of the Convention

Norway
(upon ratification)

No declaration regarding the choice of procedure was made

Does not accept an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII of the Convention for 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 3, of the Convention, in the event that such disputes might be considered to be covered by the Agreement

United States of America
(upon ratification)

-

-

-

1

---

 

[1] If number 1 appears for more than one procedure, no order of preference has been specified.

 

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