SECTION 2. COMPETENCE
1. The Tribunal shall be open to States Parties.
Access to the Tribunal
2. The Tribunal shall be open to entities other than States Parties in any
case expressly provided for in Part XI or in any case submitted pursuant to
any other agreement conferring jurisdiction on the Tribunal which is
accepted by all the parties to that case.
The jurisdiction of the Tribunal comprises all disputes and all
applications submitted to it in accordance with this Convention and all
matters specifically provided for in any other agreement which confers
jurisdiction on the Tribunal.
If all the parties to a treaty or convention already in force and
concerning the subject-matter covered by this Convention so agree, any
disputes concerning the interpretation or application of such treaty or
convention may, in accordance with such agreement, be submitted to the
The Tribunal shall decide all disputes and applications in accordance with
Reference of disputes subject to other agreements
SECTION 3. PROCEDURE
1. Disputes are submitted to the Tribunal, as the case may be, either by
notification of a special agreement or by written application, addressed to
the Registrar. In either case, the subject of the dispute and the parties
shall be indicated.
Institution of proceedings
2. The Registrar shall forthwith notify the special agreement or the
application to all concerned.
3. The Registrar shall also notify all States Parties.
1. In accordance with article 290, the Tribunal and its Sea-Bed Disputes
Chamber shall have the power to prescribe provisional measures.
2. If the Tribunal is not in session or a sufficient number of members is
not available to constitute a quorum, the provisional measures shall be
prescribed by the chamber of summary procedure formed under article 15,
paragraph 3, of this Annex. Notwithstanding article 15, paragraph 4, of
this Annex, such provisional measures may be adopted at the request of any
party to the dispute. They shall be subject to review and revision by the
1. The hearing shall be under the control of the President or, if he is
unable to preside, of the Vice-President. If neither is able to preside,
the senior judge present of the Tribunal shall preside.
2. The hearing shall be public, unless the Tribunal decides otherwise or
unless the parties demand that the public be not admitted.
The Tribunal shall make orders for the conduct of the case, decide the form
and time in which each party must conclude its arguments, and make all
arrangements connected with the taking of evidence.
When one of the parties does not appear before the Tribunal or fails to
defend its case, the other party may request the Tribunal to continue the
proceedings and make its decision. Absence of a party or failure of a party
to defend its case shall not constitute a bar to the proceedings. Before
making its decision, the Tribunal must satisfy itself not only that it has
jurisdiction over the dispute, but also that the claim is well founded in
fact and law.
1. All questions shall be decided by a majority of the members of the
Tribunal who are present.
Majority for decision
2. In the event of an equality of votes, the President or the member of the
Tribunal who acts in his place shall have a casting vote.
1. The judgment shall state the reasons on which it is based.
2. It shall contain the names of the members of the Tribunal who have taken
part in the decision.
3. If the judgment does not represent in whole or in part the unanimous
opinion of the members of the Tribunal, any member shall be entitled to
deliver a separate opinion.
4. The judgment shall be signed by the President and by the Registrar. It
shall be read in open court, due notice having been given to the parties to
1. Should a State Party consider that it has an interest of a legal nature
which may be affected by the decision in any dispute, it may submit a
request to the Tribunal to be permitted to intervene.
Request to intervene
2. It shall be for the Tribunal to decide upon this request.
3. If a request to intervene is granted, the decision of the Tribunal in
respect of the dispute shall be binding upon the intervening State Party in
so far as it relates to matters in respect of which that State Party
1. Whenever the interpretation or application of this Convention is in
question, the Registrar shall notify all States Parties forthwith.
Right to intervene in cases of interpretation or application
2. Whenever pursuant to article 21 or 22 of this Annex the interpretation
or application of an international agreement is in question, the Registrar
shall notify all the parties to the agreement.
3. Every party referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 has the right to intervene
in the proceedings; if it uses this right, the interpretation given by the
judgment will be equally binding upon it.
1. The decision of the Tribunal is final and shall be complied with by all
the parties to the dispute.
Finality and binding force of decisions
2. The decision shall have no binding force except between the parties in
respect of that particular dispute.
3. In the event of dispute as to the meaning or scope of the decision, the
Tribunal shall construe it upon the request of any party.
Unless otherwise decided by the Tribunal, each party shall bear its own
SECTION 4. SEA-BED DISPUTES CHAMBER
1. The Sea-Bed Disputes Chamber referred to in article 14 of this Annex
shall be composed of 11 members, selected by a majority of the elected
members of the Tribunal from among them.
2. In the selection of the members of the Chamber, the representation of
the principal legal systems of the world and equitable geographical
distribution shall be assured. The Assembly of the Authority may adopt
recommendations of a general nature relating to such representation and
3. The members of the Chamber shall be selected every three years and may
be selected for a second term.
4. The Chamber shall elect its President from among its members, who shall
serve for the term for which the Chamber has been selected.
5. If any proceedings are still pending at the end of any three-year period
for which the Chamber has been selected, the Chamber shall complete the
proceedings in its original composition.
6. If a vacancy occurs in the Chamber, the Tribunal shall select a
successor from among its elected members, who shall hold office for the
remainder of his predecessor's term.
7. A quorum of seven of the members selected by the Tribunal shall be
required to constitute the Chamber.
1. The Sea-Bed Disputes Chamber shall form an ad hoc chamber, composed of
three of its members, for dealing with a particular dispute submitted to it
in accordance with article 188, paragraph 1 (b). The composition of such a
chamber shall be determined by the Sea-Bed Disputes Chamber with the
approval of the parties.
2. If the parties do not agree on the composition of an ad hoc chamber,
each party to the dispute shall appoint one member, and the third member
shall be appointed by them in agreement. If they disagree, or if any party
fails to make an appointment, the President of the Sea-Bed Disputes Chamber
shall promptly make the appointment or appointments from among its members,
after consultation with the parties.
3. Members of the ad hoc chamber must not be in the service of, or
nationals of, any of the parties to the dispute.
The Chamber shall be open to the States Parties, the Authority and the
other entities referred to in Part XI, section 5.
In addition to the provisions of article 293, the Chamber shall apply:
- the rules, regulations and procedures of the Authority adopted in
accordance with this Convention; and
- the terms of contracts concerning activities in the Area in matters
relating to those contracts.
The decisions of the Chamber shall be enforceable in the territories of the
States Parties in the same manner as judgments or orders of the highest
court of the State Party in whose territory the enforcement is sought.
Enforcement of decisions of the Chamber
1. The other sections of this Annex which are not incompatible with this
section apply to the Chamber.
Applicability of other sections of this Annex
2. In the exercise of its functions relating to advisory opinions, the
Chamber shall be guided by the provisions of this Annex relating to
procedure before the Tribunal to the extent to which it recognizes them to
SECTION 5. AMENDMENTS
1. Amendments to this Annex, other than amendments to section 4, may be
adopted only in accordance with article 313 or by consensus at a conference
convened in accordance with this Convention.
2. Amendments to section 4 may be adopted only in accordance with article
3. The Tribunal may propose such amendments to this Statute as it may
consider necessary, by written communications to the States Parties for
their consideration in conformity with paragraphs 1 and 2.
Convention on the Law of the Sea: Index