ITLOS to Hear Asia Maritime Disputes in Singapore

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and Singapore’s Ministry of Law have signed a Joint Declaration which will make Singapore a venue in Asia for ITLOS proceedings.

In line with this commitment, the Singapore Government will provide appropriate facilities for ITLOS and its special chamber to sit or exercise its functions in Singapore.

“The Joint Declaration is a clear endorsement of Singapore as a neutral venue for the effective settlement of international disputes. It also demonstrates Singapore’s commitment to the international rule of law by facilitating access to ITLOS in order to serve the needs of the States of this region, with a view to promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes relating to the law of the sea,” Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam said.

ITLOS is an independent judicial body established by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to hear any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the UNCLOS. Currently, there are 167 parties to UNCLOS, which comprises 166 states and the European Union.

”The Joint Declaration underscores the commitment of both sides to facilitate access to the Tribunal, by serving the needs of the States of this region and promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes relating to the law of the sea,” ITLOS President, Judge Vladimir Golitsyn Golitsyn, said.

”In line with this commitment, both sides have agreed that whenever proceedings are instituted before a special chamber of the Tribunal or the Tribunal, States parties to the dispute may propose that the chamber or the Tribunal meet in the region, at a place convenient to them. I am extremely grateful to the Government of Singapore for its willingness to assist the Tribunal in the provision of appropriate facilities whenever the Tribunal considers it desirable for a special chamber of the Tribunal or the Tribunal to sit or exercise its functions in Singapore.”

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