Thursday, May 30, 2013
Earlier this week, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) announced its judgment in the M/V LOUISA Case (St. Vincent and the Grenadines v. Kingdom of Spain). The Tribunal found by 19 votes to 2 that it did not have jurisdiction to entertain the application by St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The case involved a complaint by St. Vincent and the Grenadines that Spain improperly detained, boarded and searched the M/V LOUISA, (which was flying the flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines), while the vessel was engaged in exploratory surveys of the sea floor. Spain claimed its actions were taken pursuant to a criminal investigation. The Tribunal held that it lacked jurisdiction because there was no dispute between the parties as to the application and interpretation of the UN Convention on the Law of Sea, largely because the M/V LOUISA was detained and boarded while in a Spanish port pursuant to a criminal investigation under Spanish law. For more information regarding the Tribunal's judgment, see the ITLOS Press Release.