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Whether Applicants salvage of the Cargast is unlawful, and

the cargo and artifacts of Respondent origin recovered from
the wreck properly belong to Respondent, which has the
right to protect them;
Wreck of Cargast
In January 2010, a Ritanian oil and gas exploration vessel discovered the
wreck of the
Cargast in the Malachi Gap to the west of the Amalean Trench. Its captain
Baldic Verdigris, an Amalean explorer and cartographer, was long agreed to
have died at sea on 10 March 1510,when the Cargast disappeared in the
Strait of Malachi during a storm. The wreck was approximately 80 nautical
miles from the nearest point on the Amalean coast.The Cargast under the
command of Verdigris held a letter of marque from the King of Amalea, who
granted the use of the Cargast to bring glory to the Kingdom of Amalea..
On their return to Amalea from a successful trading mission, Verdigris and his
crew laid siege to Helios, the capital of Ritania during the week 4 March
1510. They set fire to the town, killing hundreds of people, and took most of
the towns prized religious and cultural icons including the Sacred Helian
On the matter of the wreck of Cargast, the State of Applicant failed to
establish a valid salvage claim after it entered into an existing duty or
contract with treasure hunter Milo Belleza. The law on salvage requires that
for it to qualify as a valid salvage claim, the service of the salvor shall be
voluntary. This does not apply in the case at hand, Applicant contracted with
Belliza and even named as agent. Moreover, the salvage operations did not
follow the required procedure of Archaelogical Duty of Care of salvors aimed
in making sure that salvors perform with outmost care to preserve
shipwrecks which are important subjects in the study of the past.
Cultural property is an object of property rights and a form of public patrimony essential to the
sentiment of a collective social body.24 In this sense, cultural heritage becomes an important
dimension of human rights as it reflects the spiritual, religious and cultural particularity of a
certain group of people.25
The artifacts recovered from the Cargast are the Respondents cultural
properties to which the Ritanian people enjoy human rights and exercise
property rights.

It is established that to assert a successful salvage claim, a State must show

that: (1) the vessel or cargo was in marine peril; 26 (2) the salvor rendered
service voluntarily; 27 (3) the salvor was successful either in whole or in
part;28 and (4) the salvor established "possession" over the shipwreck.29
Here Milo Bellezas service was not voluntarily because he was compelled to
act under a pre-existing contract with Applicant (C. 38) . His salvage
operations would not be voluntry because he is compelled to act pursuant to

Disputed Claims of Ownership

The Amalean Prime Minister Beesely responded by claiming the Cargast and
all the
cargo that might be on board as property of Amalea, to be held in trust for all
human kind. The President of Ritania immediately responded claiming that
the unique property on board the vessel is sacred to its people and thus
must be treated with dignity and respect. In January 2011, the Amalean
Cultural Affairs Ministry announced that it had acquired five objects
recovered in an exploratory dive to the wreck by Milo Bellezza, a well-known
deep sea treasure hunter of Swiss nationality. These included an item that
appeared to be the Sacred Helian Coronet. Detailed information provided by
Bellezza persuaded Amalea that the hull structure of the Cargast was at risk
of catastrophic collapse. Amalea, therefore, contracted with Belleza to
explore the wreck and recover items therefrom. Amaleas Cultural Affairs
Ministry responded that the wreck and all other items, including the Coronet,
were recovered in good faith, and in any event Amalea remains in fact and at
law the owner of the wreck of the Cargast and its cargo. In June 2011, the
Ministry granted Milo Belleza, acting as agent for and behalf of the Republic
of Amalea, the status of salvor of the wreck of the Cargast. Ritanian
President Lipman denounced Amaleas granting of a license to Bellezza as a
violation of the letter and the spirit of the Malachi Gap Treaty as well as
customary international
law. Shortly, after the Ritanian Presidents public statement, Ritanias Navy
began to patrol the
area of the wreck.

Respondents claim of ownership of the cargo and artifacts found in the

wreck of Cargast, which if traced in history rightfully belong to Respondent,
after stolen by Applicant explorer and cartographer Baldric Verdigris in the
Sack of Helios hundreds of years ago. The claim is anchored in the
provisions on the Convention on the Law of the Sea on cultural nationalism,

which gives preferential rights to states, where the culture of the property
originates. Applicant cannot claim ownership of the cargo and artifacts which
can be identified to belong to Applicant because its duty is only up to the
extent of protecting these properties and can never be interpreted to mean


1. Respondents ownership is recognized by UNCLOS.
Article 149 of the UNCLOS gives preferential right of the archaelogical and
historical objects to the State of origin40. The archaeological and historical
objects41 in the wreck of Cargast were cultural properties of Respondent
(C._). Thus, Respondent owns the artificats from the Cargast.
2. Applicant's acquisition of the artifacts violated customary international law.
a. Baldric Verdigris act of pillaging constituted unlawful seizure of property.
Pillaging as a means of property acquisition is illegal under international law.42 In Hague
Conferences of 189943 and 190744, the practice of pillage is prohibited45. Verdgris act of
confiscating these properties through pillage 46 is a violation of customary international law.47
Thus, Respondent is not divested of ownership over the artificats.
b. Baldric Verdigris privateering was an ultra vires act.
Privateers who were granted state sovereign authority48 through the letter
of Marquee49, were obliged to comply its terms and to obey international
law.50 Non-compliance resulted to revocation of authority.51 Verdigris
violated the the terms of the Letter of Marquee when he pillaged Helios.
Thus, his act was utra vires.
International law entitles an injured state to restitution from the State which
has committed an internationally wrongful.52 Here, Applicants seizure of the
artifacts was illegal. Thus, its duty to repatriate the artifacts to Respondent is