The Tribunal

Judge David Joseph Attard

Member of the Tribunal since 1 October 2011; Vice-President 2017-2020; President of the Seabed Disputes Chamber since 2023; President of the Chamber for Marine Environment Disputes 2020-2023

Born: Sliema, Malta, 29 March 1953.

Education: Diploma of Notary Public, University of Malta (1977); Doctor of Laws (LL.D.), University of Malta (1978); Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.), University of Oxford (1986).

Professional Qualifications: Advocate, Malta; Barrister-at-Law, Middle Temple, London.

Professional Experience: Teaching law of the sea (1987–present); Associate Professor, Department of Public Law, University of Malta (1986); Full and Founding Professor of Public International Law, University of Malta (1988–2011); UNEP Chair of Environmental Diplomacy, Mediterranean  Academy of Diplomatic Studies (1990); Director, IMO International Maritime Law Institute, Malta (1992–2022); Visiting Professor of International Law, University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (1994); Senior Visiting Lecturer, College of Foreign Affairs, Beijing (1995); Visiting Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford (1998-–1999); Fulbright Scholar, Yale Law School (2000); Visiting Professor, University Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris I) (2007).

Public Office: Retained by numerous Governments to advise on international legal matters, in particular the international law regulating exploration and exploitation of marine resources; led numerous teams in negotiations to delimit single maritime boundaries, continental shelf/exclusive economic zone boundaries and fishing zone boundaries. Member of and Consultant to the Maltese Delegation to the International Maritime Organization General Assembly (1986); Head of the Maltese Delegation to the UN Preparatory Commission on Deep Sea Mining and the Law of the Sea Tribunal, New York (1987); Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the UN Secretary-General, New York (1987); Adviser to the Maltese Delegation to the 43rd Session of the UN General Assembly, New York (1988); Representative of Malta at the 2nd Committee (Economic) of the UN General Assembly, New York (1988); Principal Delegate to the UNEP/WMO Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Geneva (1988); Personal Representative of the Maltese Prime Minister to the Heads of States and Governments Meeting on the Global Atmosphere, The Hague (1989); Head of the Maltese Delegation to the UNEP Governing Council, Nairobi (1989); Member of Maltese Delegation to the IMO Diplomatic Conference on the Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response Convention, London (1990); Adviser to the President of the UN General Assembly, New York (1990); Adviser to the Maltese Delegation to the CSCE meeting on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, Valletta (1991); Head of the Maltese Delegation to the UN Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on the Framework Convention on Climate Change, Washington, D.C./Geneva/ Nairobi (1991); Chancellor of the University of Malta (2011).

Member: Board of Governors, IMO International Maritime Law Institute, Malta (1989); UNEP/WMO Working Group on the Drafting of an International Convention on Climate, Geneva (1989); Council of Europe Group of Experts on Public International Law, Strasbourg (1989); World Academy of Art and Science, Sweden (1990);  Board of Advisers, Climate Institute, Washington, D.C. (1990); Chairman, UNITAR Working Group on Environmental Diplomacy, Geneva (1991); Steering Committee for Human Rights, Strasburg (2000); Titular Member, Comité maritime international (2001); Honorary Member, Comité maritime international, Slovenia (2002); Member and Member of Specialized Panel of Arbitrators, Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague  (2004–present); European Union Expert Group on Maritime Policy, Brussels (2005).

Publications: Numerous articles on international law and in particular law of the sea. The Exclusive Economic Zone in International Law, Clarendon Press, University of Oxford (awarded the Paul Guggenheim (International Law) Prize, Geneva, 1987); General Editor, IMLI Manual on International Maritime Law (3 volumes), Oxford University Press; General Editor and Academic Coordinator of the IMLI Treatise on Global Ocean Governance (3 Volumes).  

Distinctions: Lega Navale “Dioscuri Prize”, Catania, Italy (1998); Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, Paris (2004); Official, National Order of Merit, Malta (2007); Encomienda de Número de la Orden de Isabel la Católica, Spain (2009); Order of Merit, Italian Republic (2010); International Maritime Prize of the International Maritime Organization (2022).