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Protests against Oil Exploration at Sea: Lessons from the Arctic Sunrise Arbitration

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Document pages: 29 pages

Abstract: The decision of the Arbitral Tribunal in the Arctic Sunrise case between the Netherlands and Russia offers considerable guidance to coastal States on how to deal with protesters who violate the safety zone of installations under the Law of the Sea Convention. This article considers these lessons and applies them to another recent type of protest: against vessels conducting seismic surveys above the continental shelf. Some countries provide for a non-interference zone around these vessels to prevent protesters from getting close to the survey vessels. Although this was not directly at issue in the Arctic Sunrise case, the Tribunal’s jurisprudence gives guidance as to whether these measures by coastal states to prevent interference are consistent with the Law of the Sea Convention.

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