The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea


The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) is a multi-governmental establishment formed by the mandate of the 3rd UN Conference on the Law of the Sea. It was created by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea which was signed at Jamaica on the 10th of December 1982. The convention became effective on 16th November 1994. It developed a global framework for law over the oceans and its uses and resources. The tribunal is based out of Hamburg in Germany. The convention also created the International Seabed Authority which is responsible for controlling the seabed mining when it goes beyond national jurisdiction. At present, there are 167 signatories including the EU. ITLOS is an autonomous judicial organisation. It is the dedicated judicial body created specifically for solving sea disputes. Neeru Chadha, expert on international law has been appointed a judge in the tribunal becoming the first Indian woman to be so appointed. The Enrica Lexie case, in which two Italian marines were detained by Indian authorities because of their killing of two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast was brought before the tribunal. It is an ongoing case and cause for diplomatic tension between India and Italy.

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