Compulsory and Binding Dispute Resolution under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: Introduction

Ocean Development & International Law, Vol 48, No 3-4, 2017, pp. 209-215.

On 21-22 September 2016, the K. G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea at UiT The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, Norway, arranged a two-day workshop dealing with compulsory procedures entailing binding decisions. The purposes of the workshop were to assess the experience gained so far with the compulsory dispute resolution provisions of the LOSC in international litigation, and to provide an assessment of whether these provisions have worked as intended by the treaty drafters and of the extent to which unanticipated issues have arisen. This article provides an introduction to a special issue of Ocean Development & International Law that consists of research articles developed on the basis of the papers that were presented and discussed in plenary session at the Tromsø workshop. The following key themes are addressed: General background and characteristics of the dispute settlement system, the dispute settlement system in practice, obligations before bringing action, subject-matter jurisdiction, and limitations and exceptions to compulsory dispute settlement.