ANNEX VI. STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL
TRIBUNAL FOR THE LAW OF THE SEA
1. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is constituted and
shall function in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and
2. The seat of the Tribunal shall be in the Free and Hanseatic City of
Hamburg in the Federal Republic of Germany.
3. The Tribunal may sit and exercise its functions elsewhere whenever it
considers this desirable.
4. A reference of a dispute to the Tribunal shall be governed by the
provisions of Parts XI and XV.
SECTION 1. ORGANIZATION OF THE TRIBUNAL
1. The Tribunal shall be composed of a body of 21 independent members,
elected from among persons enjoying the highest reputation for fairness and
integrity and of recognized competence in the field of the law of the sea.
2. In the Tribunal as a whole the representation of the principal legal
systems of the world and equitable geographical distribution shall be
1. No two members of the Tribunal may be nationals of the same State. A
person who for the purposes of membership in the Tribunal could be regarded
as a national of more than one State shall be deemed to be a national of
the one in which he ordinarily exercises civil and political rights.
2. There shall be no fewer than three members from each geographical group
as established by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
1. Each State Party may nominate not more than two persons having the
qualifications prescribed in article 2 of this Annex. The members of the
Tribunal shall be elected from the list of persons thus nominated.
Nominations and elections
2. At least three months before the date of the election, the Secretary-
General of the United Nations in the case of the first election and the
Registrar of the Tribunal in the case of subsequent elections shall address
a written invitation to the States Parties to submit their nominations for
members of the Tribunal within two months. He shall prepare a list in
alphabetical order of all the persons thus nominated, with an indication of
the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the
States Parties before the seventh day of the last month before the date of
3. The first election shall be held within six months of the date of entry
into force of this Convention.
4. The members of the Tribunal shall be elected by secret ballot. Elections
shall be held at a meeting of the States Parties convened by the Secretary-
General of the United Nations in the case of the first election and by a
procedure agreed to by the States Parties in the case of subsequent
elections. Two thirds of the States Parties shall constitute a quorum at
that meeting. The persons elected to the Tribunal shall be those nominees
who obtain the largest number of votes and a two-thirds majority of the
States Parties present and voting, provided that such majority includes a
majority of the States Parties.
1. The members of the Tribunal shall be elected for nine years and may be
re-elected; provided, however, that of the members elected at the first
election, the terms of seven members shall expire at the end of three years
and the terms of seven more members shall expire at the end of six years.
2. The members of the Tribunal whose terms are to expire at the end of the
above-mentioned initial periods of three and six years shall be chosen by
lot to be drawn by the Secretary-General of the United Nations immediately
after the first election.
3. The members of the Tribunal shall continue to discharge their duties
until their places have been filled. Though replaced, they shall finish any
proceedings which they may have begun before the date of their replacement.
4. In the case of the resignation of a member of the Tribunal, the letter
of resignation shall be addressed to the President of the Tribunal. The
place becomes vacant on the receipt of that letter.
1. Vacancies shall be filled by the same method as that laid down for the
first election, subject to the following provision: the Registrar shall,
within one month of the occurrence of the vacancy, proceed to issue the
invitations provided for in article 4 of this Annex, and the date of the
election shall be fixed by the President of the Tribunal after consultation
with the States Parties.
2. A member of the Tribunal elected to replace a member whose term of
office has not expired shall hold office for the remainder of his
1. No member of the Tribunal may exercise any political or administrative
function, or associate actively with or be financially interested in any of
the operations of any enterprise concerned with the exploration for or
exploitation of the resources of the sea or the sea-bed or other commercial
use of the sea or the sea-bed.
2. No member of the Tribunal may act as agent, counsel or advocate in any
3. Any doubt on these points shall be resolved by decision of the majority
of the other members of the Tribunal present.
1. No member of the Tribunal may participate in the decision of any case in
which he has previously taken part as agent, counsel or advocate for one of
the parties, or as a member of a national or international court or
tribunal, or in any other capacity.
Conditions relating to participation of members
in a particular case
2. If, for some special reason, a member of the Tribunal considers that he
should not take part in the decision of a particular case, he shall so
inform the President of the Tribunal.
3. If the President considers that for some special reason one of the
members of the Tribunal should not sit in a particular case, he shall give
him notice accordingly.
4. Any doubt on these points shall be resolved by decision of the majority
of the other members of the Tribunal present.
If, in the unanimous opinion of the other members of the Tribunal, a member
has ceased to fulfil the required conditions, the President of the Tribunal
shall declare the seat vacant.
Consequence of ceasing to fulfil required conditions
The members of the Tribunal, when engaged on the business of the Tribunal,
shall enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities.
Privileges and immunities
Every member of the Tribunal shall, before taking up his duties, make a
solemn declaration in open session that he will exercise his powers
impartially and conscientiously.
Solemn declaration by members
1. The Tribunal shall elect its President and Vice-President for three
years; they may be re-elected.
President, Vice-President and Registrar
2. The Tribunal shall appoint its Registrar and may provide for the
appointment of such other officers as may be necessary.
3. The President and the Registrar shall reside at the seat of the
1. All available members of the Tribunal shall sit; a quorum of 11 elected
members shall be required to constitute the Tribunal.
2. Subject to article 17 of this Annex, the Tribunal shall determine which
members are available to constitute the Tribunal for the consideration of a
particular dispute, having regard to the effective functioning of the
chambers as provided for in articles 14 and 15 of this Annex.
3. All disputes and applications submitted to the Tribunal shall be heard
and determined by the Tribunal, unless article 14 of this Annex applies, or
the parties request that it shall be dealt with in accordance with article
15 of this Annex.
A Sea-Bed Disputes Chamber shall be established in accordance with the
provisions of section 4 of this Annex. Its jurisdiction, powers and
functions shall be as provided for in Part XI, section 5.
1. The Tribunal may form such chambers, composed of three or more of its
elected members, as it considers necessary for dealing with particular
categories of disputes.
Sea-Bed Disputes Chamber
2. The Tribunal shall form a chamber for dealing with a particular dispute
submitted to it if the parties so request. The composition of such a
chamber shall be determined by the Tribunal with the approval of the
3. With a view to the speedy dispatch of business, the Tribunal shall form
annually a chamber composed of five of its elected members which may hear
and determine disputes by summary procedure. Two alternative members shall
be selected for the purpose of replacing members who are unable to
participate in a particular proceeding.
4. Disputes shall be heard and determined by the chambers provided for in
this article if the parties so request.
5. A judgment given by any of the chambers provided for in this article and
in article 14 of this Annex shall be considered as rendered by the
The Tribunal shall frame rules for carrying out its functions. In
particular it shall lay down rules of procedure.
Rules of the Tribunal
1. Members of the Tribunal of the nationality of any of the parties to a
dispute shall retain their right to participate as members of the Tribunal.
Nationality of members
2. If the Tribunal, when hearing a dispute, includes upon the bench a
member of the nationality of one of the parties, any other party may choose
a person to participate as a member of the Tribunal.
3. If the Tribunal, when hearing a dispute, does not include upon the bench
a member of the nationality of the parties, each of those parties may
choose a person to participate as a member of the Tribunal.
4. This article applies to the chambers referred to in articles 14 and 15
of this Annex. In such cases, the President, in consultation with the
parties, shall request specified members of the Tribunal forming the
chamber, as many as necessary, to give place to the members of the Tribunal
of the nationality of the parties concerned, and, failing such, or if they
are unable to be present, to the members specially chosen by the parties.
5. Should there be several parties in the same interest, they shall, for
the purpose of the preceding provisions, be considered as one party only.
Any doubt on this point shall be settled by the decision of the Tribunal.
6. Members chosen in accordance with paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 shall fulfil the
conditions required by articles 2, 8 and 11 of this Annex. They shall
participate in the decision on terms of complete equality with their
1. Each elected member of the Tribunal shall receive an annual allowance
and, for each day on which he exercises his functions, a special allowance,
provided that in any year the total sum payable to any member as special
allowance shall not exceed the amount of the annual allowance.
Remuneration of members
2. The President shall receive a special annual allowance.
3. The Vice-President shall receive a special allowance for each day on
which he acts as President.
4. The members chosen under article 17 of this Annex, other than elected
members of the Tribunal, shall receive compensation for each day on which
they exercise their functions.
5. The salaries, allowances and compensation shall be determined from time
to time at meetings of the States Parties, taking into account the work
load of the Tribunal. They may not be decreased during the term of office.
6. The salary of the Registrar shall be determined at meetings of the
States Parties, on the proposal of the Tribunal.
7. Regulations adopted at meetings of the States Parties shall determine
the conditions under which retirement pensions may be given to members of
the Tribunal and to the Registrar, and the conditions under which members
of the Tribunal and Registrar shall have their travelling expenses
8. The salaries, allowances, and compensation shall be free of all
1. The expenses of the Tribunal shall be borne by the States Parties and by
the Authority on such terms and in such a manner as shall be decided at
meetings of the States Parties.
Expenses of the Tribunal
2. When an entity other than a State Party or the Authority is a party to a
case submitted to it, the Tribunal shall fix the amount which that party is
to contribute towards the expenses of the Tribunal.
Convention on the Law of the Sea: Index