By Ramón García-Gallardo Alex Mizzi, King & Wood Mallesons’ Brussels Office
King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin has successfully brought a claim for damages on behalf of Panama1 before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (the Tribunal) in a dispute with Guinea-Bissau over the arrest and seizure of the Panamanian oil tanker, the Virginia G. The Virginia G was arrested in August 2009 by the coastal authorities of Guinea-Bissau for supplying foreign fishing vessels with fuel (“bunkering”) in Guinea-Bissau’s exclusive economic zone without authorisation. The vessel was arrested and held for 14 months, and the valuable cargo of gas oil was confiscated.
The Tribunal found that Guinea-Bissau exceeded its exclusive economic zone enforcement entitlements under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (the Convention) by exceeding what was necessary and proportionate in the circumstances, and that Guinea-Bissau further violated the Convention by preventing Panama, as the flag state, from intervening at the outset.
Continue Reading An overview on seeking reparation before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea