Under pressure: the impact of invoking the two year rule within the context of deep sea mining in the Area
(2021) INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARINE AND COASTAL LAW
At the end of June 2021, Nauru requested the ISA Council to complete the adoption of the rules, regulations and procedures necessary to facilitate the approval of plans of work for exploitation in the Area within two years’ time, pursuant to Section 1(15) of the Annex to the 1994 Implementation Agreement. If the exploitation regulations are not completed within that timeframe and an application for exploitation activities is pending, the Council must nonetheless consider it, but it is unclear on what basis such an application would need to be evaluated and what the nature and effects of a provisional approval are. In order to assess the precise impact and aftermath of invoking the ‘two year rule’, this short article explores the different legal interpretations and provides thoughts on the way forward.