Advisory Proceedings

Advisory Proceedings before the Seabed Disputes Chamber under the Convention

(a) Applicable rules

In proceedings relating to advisory opinions, the Seabed Disputes Chamber applies articles 130 to 137 of the Rules and is guided, when appropriate, by the provisions of the Convention and the Rules applicable in contentious cases.

(b) Request for advisory opinions

The request for an advisory opinion on a legal question arising within the scope of the activities of the Assembly or the Council of the International Seabed Authority should contain a precise statement of the question. All relevant documents should be annexed to the request or transmitted as soon as possible thereafter in the number of copies required by the Registry (Rules, article 131, paragraphs 1 and 2).

(c) Notification, written statements and information to the public

Notification of the request is forthwith given by the Registrar to all States Parties and intergovernmental organizations able to furnish information on the question, which may present written statements within a time-limit fixed by the Chamber, or its President if the Chamber is not sitting (Rules, article 133, paragraphs 1 to 3). The written statements are made accessible to the public as soon as possible after their presentation (Rules, article 134).

(d) Written and oral proceedings

Requests for an advisory opinion involve written and subsequently oral proceedings (Rules, article 133, paras. 3 and 4). Such opinions are given as a matter of urgency (Convention, article 191; Rules, article 132).

(e) Reading of the advisory opinion

The advisory opinion is read at a public sitting of the Chamber, the date of which is notified to the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, the States Parties and the intergovernmental organizations immediately concerned (Rules, articles 135 and 136).

(f) Copies of the advisory opinion

After being signed by the President and the Registrar, one copy of the opinion is sealed and archived. Other copies are sent to the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, States Parties and the intergovernmental organizations concerned (Rules, article 137).

Advisory Proceedings before the Tribunal on the Basis of other International Agreements

When a request for an advisory opinion is submitted to the Tribunal in accordance with the provisions of an international agreement related to the purposes of the Convention, article 138 of the Rules is applicable.