SECTION 2. COMPULSORY PROCEDURES ENTAILING
Subject to section 3, any dispute concerning the interpretation or
application of this Convention shall, where no settlement has been reached
by recourse to section 1, be submitted at the request of any party to the
dispute to the court or tribunal having jurisdiction under this section.
1. When signing, ratifying or acceding to this Convention or at any time
thereafter, a State shall be free to choose, by means of a written
declaration, one or more of the following means for the settlement of
disputes concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention:
Application of procedures under this section
2. A declaration made under paragraph 1 shall not affect or be affected by
the obligation of a State Party to accept the jurisdiction of the Sea-Bed
Disputes Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to
the extent and in the manner provided for in Part XI, section 5.
- the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea established in
accordance with Annex VI;
- the International Court of Justice;
- an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII;
- a special arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII
for one or more of the categories of disputes specified therein.
3. A State Party, which is a party to a dispute not covered by a
declaration in force, shall be deemed to have accepted arbitration in
accordance with Annex VII.
4. If the parties to a dispute have accepted the same procedure for the
settlement of the dispute, it may be submitted only to that procedure,
unless the parties otherwise agree.
5. If the parties to a dispute have not accepted the same procedure for the
settlement of the dispute, it may be submitted only to arbitration in
accordance with Annex VII, unless the parties otherwise agree.
6. A declaration made under paragraph 1 shall remain in force until three
months after notice of revocation has been deposited with the Secretary-
General of the United Nations.
7. A new declaration, a notice of revocation or the expiry of a declaration
does not in any way affect proceedings pending before a court or tribunal
having jurisdiction under this article, unless the parties otherwise agree.
8. Declarations and notices referred to in this article shall be deposited
with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies
thereof to the States Parties.
1. A court or tribunal referred to in article 287 shall have jurisdiction
over any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of this
Convention which is submitted to it in accordance with this Part.
2. A court or tribunal referred to in article 287 shall also have
jurisdiction over any dispute concerning the interpretation or application
of an international agreement related to the purposes of this Convention,
which is submitted to it in accordance with the agreement.
3. The Sea-Bed Disputes Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law
of the Sea established in accordance with Annex VI, and any other chamber
or arbitral tribunal referred to in Part XI, section 5, shall have
jurisdiction in any matter which is submitted to it in accordance
4. In the event of a dispute as to whether a court or tribunal has
jurisdiction, the matter shall be settled by decision of that court or
In any dispute involving scientific or technical matters, a court or
tribunal exercising jurisdiction under this section may, at the request of
a party or proprio motu, select in consultation with the parties no fewer
than two scientific or technical experts chosen preferably from the
relevant list prepared in accordance with Annex VIII, article 2, to sit
with the court or tribunal but without the right to vote.
1. If a dispute has been duly submitted to a court or tribunal which
considers that prima facie it has jurisdiction under this Part or Part XI,
section 5, the court or tribunal may prescribe any provisional measures
which it considers appropriate under the circumstances to preserve the
respective rights of the parties to the dispute or to prevent serious harm
to the marine environment, pending the final decision.
2. Provisional measures may be modified or revoked as soon as the
circumstances justifying them have changed or ceased to exist.
3. Provisional measures may be prescribed, modified or revoked under this
article only at the request of a party to the dispute and after the parties
have been given an opportunity to be heard.
4. The court or tribunal shall forthwith give notice to the parties to the
dispute, and to such other States Parties as it considers appropriate, of
the prescription, modification or revocation of provisional measures.
5. Pending the constitution of an arbitral tribunal to which a dispute is
being submitted under this section, any court or tribunal agreed upon by
the parties or, failing such agreement within two weeks from the date of
the request for provisional measures, the International Tribunal for the
Law of the Sea or, with respect to activities in the Area, the Sea-Bed
Disputes Chamber, may prescribe, modify or revoke provisional measures in
accordance with this article if it considers that prima facie the tribunal
which is to be constituted would have jurisdiction and that the urgency of
the situation so requires. Once constituted, the tribunal to which the
dispute has been submitted may modify, revoke or affirm those provisional
measures, acting in conformity with paragraphs 1 to 4.
6. The parties to the dispute shall comply promptly with any provisional
measures prescribed under this article.
1. All the dispute settlement procedures specified in this Part shall be
open to States Parties.
2. The dispute settlement procedures specified in this Part shall be open
to entities other than States Parties only as specifically provided for in
1. Where the authorities of a State Party have detained a vessel flying the
flag of another State Party and it is alleged that the detaining State has
not complied with the provisions of this Convention for the prompt release
of the vessel or its crew upon the posting of a reasonable bond or other
financial security, the question of release from detention may be submitted
to any court or tribunal agreed upon by the parties or, failing such
agreement within 10 days from the time of detention, to a court or tribunal
accepted by the detaining State under article 287 or to the International
Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, unless the parties otherwise agree.
Prompt release of vessels and crews
2. The application for release may be made only by or on behalf of the flag
State of the vessel.
3. The court or tribunal shall deal without delay with the application for
release and shall deal only with the question of release, without prejudice
to the merits of any case before the appropriate domestic forum against the
vessel, its owner or its crew. The authorities of the detaining State
remain competent to release the vessel or its crew at any time.
4. Upon the posting of the bond or other financial security determined by
the court or tribunal, the authorities of the detaining State shall comply
promptly with the decision of the court or tribunal concerning the release
of the vessel or its crew.
1. A court or tribunal having jurisdiction under this section shall apply
this Convention and other rules of international law not incompatible with
2. Paragraph 1 does not prejudice the power of the court or tribunal having
jurisdiction under this section to decide a case ex aequo et bono, if the
parties so agree.
1. A court or tribunal provided for in article 287 to which an application
is made in respect of a dispute referred to in article 297 shall determine
at the request of a party, or may determine proprio motu, whether the claim
constitutes an abuse of legal process or whether prima facie it is well
founded. If the court or tribunal determines that the claim constitutes an
abuse of legal process or is prima facie unfounded, it shall take no
further action in the case.
2. Upon receipt of the application, the court or tribunal shall immediately
notify the other party or parties of the application, and shall fix a
reasonable time-limit within which they may request it to make a
determination in accordance with paragraph 1.
3. Nothing in this article affects the right of any party to a dispute to
make preliminary objections in accordance with the applicable rules of
Any dispute between States Parties concerning the interpretation or
application of this Convention may be submitted to the procedures provided
for in this section only after local remedies have been exhausted where
this is required by international law.
Exhaustion of local remedies
1. Any decision rendered by a court or tribunal having jurisdiction under
this section shall be final and shall be complied with by all the parties
to the dispute.
Finality and binding force of decisions
2. Any such decision shall have no binding force except between the parties
and in respect of that particular dispute.
Convention on the Law of the Sea: Index