Deep Seabed Mining – Webinar 2: Dispute Resolution in Deep Seabed Mining

Deep seabed mining is a rapidly developing industry, on the verge of moving from the exploration phase to the exploitation phase.  As with any fast-growing industry, in particular, one involving many different private and public stakeholders, complex regulations, new technologies and large investments, disputes are likely to arise in the deep seabed mining sector.  The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”) created the Seabed Disputes Chamber as a specialized Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (the “ITLOS”) to adjudicate such disputes and to provide advisory opinions regarding deep seabed mining.  Other dispute resolution options include commercial arbitration under the UNCITRAL rules and potentially investment treaty arbitration.

This seminar addressed the various issues arising from dispute resolution in deep seabed mining.

Our distinguished panel of speakers were:

Judge Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, Member of the ITLOS and Member of the Seabed Disputes Chamber.  Judge Kittichaisaree is also a Conciliator under Annex V of UNCLOS as well as an Arbitrator under Annex VII of UNCLOS.  Prior to his election to the ITLOS, he was a career diplomat.  He has served as the President of the 25th Meeting of States Parties to UNCLOS.  Judge Kittichaisaree has written extensively on the law of the sea and other areas of public international law, including on deep seabed mining and its reflections on contemporary international law.  Judge Kittichaisaree also holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

Judge Kathy-Ann Brown, Member of the ITLOS and Member of the Seabed Disputes Chamber.  She has also been the Permanent Representative for Jamaica to the International Seabed Authority (the “ISA”) and the Acting President of the ISA Council.  Judge Brown was Deputy Solicitor General (International Affairs) for the Government of Jamaica and lectured for several years at the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies.  She has published widely on the law of the sea and deep seabed mining, including on the draft regulations on exploitation of mineral resources in the Area.  Judge Brown is a member of the Jamaican Bar and holds a PhD from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Robert Volterra, Partner at Volterra Fietta and Visiting Professor of Law at University College London.  Mr Volterra advises and represents governments, international organisations and private clients on a wide range of public international law issues, including the law of the sea.  Mr Volterra regularly acts as co‑agent, counsel and advocate before the International Court of Justice and ad hoc international arbitration tribunals, including under the UNCLOS rules.  Mr Volterra is on the UK Attorney General’s A-list for public international law practitioners. He has advised States and mining companies in relation to deep seabed mining.

This event was moderated by Florentine Vos.  Ms Vos is an Associate at Volterra Fietta.  She advises States, international organisations and private clients on issues of public international law and international dispute settlement, including before the International Court of Justice and in investor-State arbitration.  Her expertise covers a wide array of public international law topics, including the law on the sea, such as dispute resolution under UNCLOS, maritime boundary delimitation and deep seabed mining.