Research & publications 2022

Klaas Willaert
Publication
23-02-22
Fair Share: Equitable Distribution of Deep Sea Mining Proceeds

(2022) International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law. 37.

One of the vital principles within the international regime governing the deep seabed is the status of the Area (comprising the seabed and subsoil beyond national jurisdiction) and its mineral resources as the common heritage of mankind. This abstract concept encompasses a wide array of interrelated components, though one of the most crucial premises is that activities in the Area must be carried out for the benefit of mankind as a whole, entailing equitable sharing of financial and other economic benefits derived from deep sea mining operations. As a result, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) is tasked with developing a suitable payment and distribution mechanism, which takes the needs and interests of developing States into particular consideration. This article analyses the overarching rules and principles, assesses the available options and offers insightful thoughts on the way forward.

Klaas Willaert
Publication
23-02-22
All eyes on deep sea mining: monitoring and inspection of activities in the Area

(2022) Journal of International Maritime Law. 27(5). p.302-312

Taking into account that deep sea mining activities in the Area can only be conducted in accordance with the rules and principles of the international deep seabed regime, compliance is a very important element. However, owing to the specific characteristics of deep sea mining, designing appropriate monitoring and inspection mechanisms is not an easy task. With regard to monitoring, a wide range of options and technologies is available, and the challenge of onsite inspections is to do this in the most cost-efficient way, while minimising interference with deep sea mining activities. Independence should evidently be guaranteed, as well as complementarity between the efforts of the ISA and the sponsoring states. This article analyses the legal regime concerning monitoring and inspection of deep sea mining activities as it stands, evaluates the recent proposals and available options, and provides suggestions on the way forward.

Klaas Willaert
Publication
23-02-22
Safeguarding the interests of developing states within the context of deep-sea mining in the Area

(2022) Perspectives on deep-sea mining : sustainability, technology, environmental policy and management. p.661-680

In view of the principle of the common heritage of mankind and the duty to carry out activities in the Area for the benefit of mankind as a whole, the interests and needs of developing states must be taken into account. Diverse mechanisms were devised to make sure that developing states are able to participate in deep-sea mining activities in the Area and receive an equitable share of the benefits, but most of these measures are yet to be implemented and the recent trend of partnerships between private deep-sea mining companies and developing states might jeopardize the original objectives.

Klaas Willaert
Publication
23-02-22
Traditional and socio-ecological dimensions of seabed resource management and applicable legal frameworks in the Pacific Island States

Virginie Tilot, Bleuenn Gaëlle Guilloux, Klaas Willaert, Clement Yow Mulalap, Tamatoa Bambridge, François Gaulme, Edwige Kacenelenbogen, Alain Jeudy de Grissac, Juan Moreno Navas and Arthur Lyon Dahl
(2022) Perspectives on deep-sea mining : sustainability, technology, environmental policy...

Traditional knowledge, customary marine management approaches and integrated relationships between biodiversity, ecosystems and local communities promote conservation and ensure that marine benefits are reaped in a holistic, sustainable and equitable manner as fostered by contemporary ocean governance. However, the interaction between traditional knowledge, the present scientific approach to marine resource management and specific regulatory frameworks has often been challenging. To a certain extent, the value of community practices and customary rules, which has provided an incentive for regional cooperation and coordination, is acknowledged in several legal systems of the Pacific Island States and a number of regional and international instruments, but this important interconnectivity can certainly be perfected. Based on recent multidisciplinary research (Tilot et al., 2021a; 2021b), this chapter presents a science-based overview of the marine habitats and activities that would be affected by deep seabed mining (DSM) in the Pacific region, along with an analysis of the traditional dimensions and their interconnectivity with the socio-ecological aspects of marine resource management. We then assess whether the applicable regulatory frameworks attach sufficient importance to these traditional dimensions of seabed resource management and cultural representation in the Pacific region. On basis of this analysis, we identify best practices and formulate recommendations with regard to the current regulatory frameworks and seabed resource management approaches to reconcile competing values of the Pacific communities and to sustain the health of the Global Ocean.

Tom Ruys Felipe Rodríguez Silvestre
Publication
10-03-22
Illegal: The Recourse to Force to Recover Occupied Territory and the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War

(2022) European Journal of International Law

The Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, and its lingering aftermath, have put the fundamental and largely unsettled question of the jus ad bellum in the spotlight: when part of one state’s territory is occupied by another state for a prolonged duration, can the former state have lawful recourse to military force to recover its land? Prior to the 2020 conflict, the Nagorno-Karabakh region was widely regarded as belonging de jure to Azerbaijan, but as being unlawfully occupied – for more than 25 years – by Armenia. Accordingly, was Azerbaijan entitled to claim self-defence to lawfully recover it, even though the pre-2020 territorial status quo in the region had existed for more than a quarter of a century? In addition, could Azerbaijan invoke self-defence again in the near or distant future to recover those remaining parts of territory that continue to be outside of its control now that a new ceasefire is being enforced in the region? The answers to these questions have ramifications that extend far beyond the Caucasus, being of relevance for a wide range of pending conflicts around the globe. Upon closer scrutiny, the present authors believe that a negative answer is in order.

James Green Christian Henderson Tom Ruys
Publication
28-03-22
Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the jus ad bellum

(2022) 9 Journal on the Use of Force and International Law

The 24 February 2022 Russian invasion of – or ‘special military operation’ in – Ukraine has sent shock waves across the globe. In this editorial the Editors-in-Chief of JUFIL examine in detail the legal justifications advanced by President Putin for Russia’s use of military force and subject them to scrutiny. Doing so highlights just how devoid of substance and credibility they are within the context of the jus ad bellum as it exists today. Furthermore, the Editors reflect on some of the broader questions that this use of military force poses for the jus ad bellum, including what the invasion of Ukraine says about the efficacy of the contemporary jus ad bellum and what is – or what might be – the ultimate impact upon the rules and norms governing the use of force.