Settlement of Disputes

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The Charter of the United Nations requires all Members of the Organization to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security are not endangered. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea builds on this commitment by providing a compulsory and binding framework for the peaceful settlement of all related disputes.

The Convention and the Settlement of Disputes
Part XV of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea requires that States Parties to the Convention settle any dispute between them concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention by peaceful means in accordance with article 2, para. 3, of the Charter of the United Nations and shall seek a solution by the means indicated in article 33, para. 1, of the Charter. Where, however, no settlement has been reached, article 286 of the Convention stipulates that the dispute be submitted at the request of any party to the dispute to a court or tribunal having jurisdiction in this regard. Article 287 of the Convention defines those courts or tribunals as: (a) The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (established in accordance with Annex VI of the Convention) including the Seabed Disputes Chamber; (b) The International Court of Justice; (c) An arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII of the Convention; (d) A special arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII for one or more of the categories of disputes specified therein. Legal framework within the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Procedures for settling seabed-related disputes (see Part XI, section 5, articles 186-191, and Part XV) Non-binding procedures (see Articles 279-285 and Annex V) Compulsory procedures entailing binding decisions (see Article 287, Annexes VI, VII and VIII)

International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is the central forum established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for the peaceful settlement of disputes. Its seat is at the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Germany. The Tribunal may sit and exercise its functions elsewhere whenever it considers this desirable.

although a quorum of 11 members is required to constitute the Tribunal. all available members of the Tribunal may sit. Where the authorities of a State Party have detained a vessel flying the flag of another State Party and it is alleged that the detaining State has not complied with the provisions of the Convention for the prompt release of the vessel or its crew upon the posting of a reasonable bond or other financial security. The President of the Tribunal. The first election was held in August 1996. along with those of the Agreement relating to the Implementation of the Part XI of the Convention. the Tribunal. to a court or tribunal accepted by the detaining state or to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. failing agreement between parties to a dispute within two weeks of the request by either party for provisional measures. All disputes and applications . modify or revoke provisional measures. Composition The Tribunal is composed of 21 independent members elected by States Parties to the Convention on the Law of the Sea from among persons with recognized competence in the field of the law of the sea and representing the principal legal systems of the world. The Tribunal has special jurisdiction in matters calling for provisional measures. may prescribe.www. through its Seabed Disputes Chamber. The Tribunal also appoints its Registrar and other officers of the Registry as may be necessary. the Seabed Disputes Chamber. or with respect to activities in the Area. failing such agreement within 10 days from the time of detention. In hearing a dispute. as well as the Registrar. the members of the Tribunal will elect a President and a VicePresident whose term of office shall be three years. as well as other categories of disputes as mentioned in article 187. concerning the deep seabed Area. the question of release from detention may be submitted to the any court or tribunal agreed upon by the parties or. unless the parties otherwise Jurisdiction The jurisdiction of the Tribunal comprises all disputes and all applications submitted to it in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and all matters specifically provided for in any other agreement which confers jurisdiction on the Tribunal. These matters include disputes between States Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the provisions of the Convention.itlos. through its Seabed Disputes Chamber. reside at the seat of the Tribunal. with respect to disputes relating to activities in the international seabed Area. Pending the constitution of an arbitral tribunal to which a dispute is being sumitted under this section. Section 5.Link to the web site of the Tribunal . Upon their election. The Tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction. Part XI. has jurisdiction to provide advisory opinions at the request of the Assembly or the Council of the International Seabed Authority on legal questions arising within the scope of their activities. The Tribunal. any court or tribunal agreed upon by the parties or.

The Seabed Disputes Chamber is to be composed of 11 members selected by a majority of the members of the Tribunal from among them. Regional Group and Term of Office The first members of the Tribunal were elected at the meeting of States Parties held on 1 August 1996. composed of three or more its members.submitted to the Tribunal shall be heard and determined by it. unless the dispute is to be submitted to the Seabed Disputes Chamber or the parties request that it be submitted to a special chamber. Membership of the Tribunal. each of the parties may choose a person to participate as a member. The composition of those chambers will be determined by the Tribunal with the approval of the parties. or associate actively with or be financially interested in any of the operations of any enterprise concerned with the exploration for or exploitation of the resources of the sea or the seabed or other commercial use of the sea or the seabed. They were sworn in by the Secretary-General of the United Nations at a ceremonial inauguration on 18 October 1996 in Hamburg. Members of the Tribunal may not participate in the decision of any case in which they have previously taken part as agent. and are eligible for re-election. when hearing a dispute. their nationality and their term of office please visit the Tribunal's web site. Finally. as it considers necessary for dealing with particular categories of disputes. If the Tribunal. or in any other capacity. Members of the Tribunal of the nationality of any of the parties to a dispute shall retain their right to participate as members. For the Tribunal election procedure as well as a table of the membership. A quorum of seven members is required to constitute the Chamber. In cases where the Tribunal does not include a member of the nationality of the parties. includes upon its bench a member of the nationality of one of the parties. The Tribunal will also form special chambers for dealing with a particular dispute submitted to it if the parties so request. Germany. or as a member of a national or international court or tribunal. Nationality. Members of the Chamber will serve for three years. In addition to the Seabed Disputes Chamber. counsel or advocate for one of the parties. any other party may choose a person to participate as a member of the Tribunal. Applicable Law The Tribunal will apply the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other rules of international law not incompatible with the Convention in . the Tribunal will form annually a chamber composed of five of its members which may hear and determine disputes by summary procedure. Members of the Tribunal may not exercise any political or administrative function. the Tribunal may form such other chambers.

general information and selected cases The International Court of Justice is one of the courts or tribunals that may be chosen under the dispute settlement mechanisms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 1929 revealed various defects which needed to be overcome by a fresh legislation. It does. This defect was overcome during the war by empowering under Rule 81A of the Defence of India Rules the Central Government to refer industrial disputes to adjudicator and to enforce . Unless otherwise decided by the Tribunal. 239-240. either by notification of a special agreement. have to the power to decide a case ex aequo et bono. or by written application. Experience of the working of the INTRODUCTION Prior to the year 1947. however. addressed to the Registrar. each party shall bear its own costs. Such measures are subject to review and revision by the Tribunal. 1946. All hearings before the Tribunal are under the control of its President. depending on the case. The Tribunal and its Seabed Disputes Chamber have the power to prescribe provisional measures. the Registrar will notify all States Parties to the Convention or to such agreements. reads thus: "Experience of the working of the Trade Disputes Act. conclusive and binding on the parties to the dispute. and are to be public. Whenever the interpretation or application of the Convention or any other agreement is in question. which was published in The Gazette of India. If the Tribunal is not in session or a sufficient number of its members is not available to constitute a quorum. 1929 used to settle industrial disputes. if the parties so agree. pp. Part V. States Parties not party to a dispute but which consider that they have an interest of a legal nature which may be affected by the decision in any dispute may submit a request to the Tribunal to be permitted to intervene. decisions will not have a binding force except between the parties in respect of the particular dispute. has revealed that its main defect is that while restraints have been imposed on the rights of strike and lock-out in public utility services no provision has been made to render the proceedings institutable under the Act for the settlement of an industrial dispute. Procedure Disputes are to be submitted to the Tribunal. Those parties have the right to intervene in the proceedings. For more information about the Court and current cases. International Court of Justice . please consult the web site of the Court: http://www.deciding disputes submitted to it. the provisional measures can be prescribed by the chamber of summary procedure. The STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS appended to the INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES BILL. unless the Tribunal decides otherwise or unless the parties demand that the public not be admitted. However. 1929. The Trade Disputes Act. either by reference to a Board of Conciliation or to a Court of Inquiry. 1946. Decisions of the Tribunal are final and shall be complied with by all the parties to the dispute.

is both unnecessary and inexpedient. power is given to the appropriate Government to prohibit its continuance lest the chances of settlement or speedy determination of the dispute should be jeopardized. The underlying argument is that where a dispute has been referred to conciliation for adjudication a strike or lock-out." A Report of the Select Committee on the Industrial Disputes Bill. for a further period of six months. and will continue to be binding until revoked by a 3 month's notice by either party to the dispute. which must remain inviolate. the need of permanent legislation in replacement of this rule is self-evident. which have proved generally acceptable to both employers and workmen. 1946. as may be specified in the notification. Rule 81 A. Where. The power to refer disputes of Industrial Tribunals and enforce their awards is an essential corollary to the obligation that lies on the Government to secure conclusive determination of the disputes with a view to redressing the legitimate grievances of the parties thereto. Industrial Tribunal consisting of one or more members possessing qualifications ordinarily required for appointment as Judge of a High Court. is being kept in force by the Emergency Powers (Continuance) Ordinance. This Bill embodies the essential principles of Rule 81 A. and it is hoped that the Works Committees will render recourse to the remaining machinery provided for in the Bill for the settlements of disputes infrequent. and as industrial unrest in checking which this rule has proved useful. or more and their duties will be to remove cause of friction between the employer and workmen in the day-to-day working of the establishment and to promote measures for securing amity and good relations between them. With a view to expedite conciliation proceedings time limits have been prescribed for conclusion thereof . is gaining momentum due to the stress of post industrial re-adjustment. Industrial peace will be most enduring where it is founded on voluntary settlement. which was to lapse on the 1st October. on the date of reference to conciliation or adjudication a strike or lock-out is already in existence.their awards. The Bill also seeks to re-orient the administration of the conciliation machinery provided in the Trade Disputes Act. for the most part. An award of a Tribunal may be enforced either wholly or in part by the appropriate Government for a period not exceeding one year. 1929. in furtherance thereof. 1946. 1946 was published in the . A reference to an Industrial Tribunal will lie where both the parties to an Industrial Dispute apply for such reference. Another important new feature of the Bill relates to the prohibition of strikes and lock-outs during the pendency of conciliation and adjudication proceedings of settlement reached in the course of conciliation proceedings and of awards of Industrial Tribunals declared binding by the appropriate Government. retaining intact. if any. Power has been given to appropriate Government to require Works Committees to be constituted in every industrial establishment employing 100 workmen. such obligation arising from the imposition of restraints on the right of strike and lock-out. Conciliation will be compulsory in all disputes in public utility services and optional in the case of other industrial establishment. A settlement arrived at in the course of conciliation proceedings will be binding for such period as may be agreed upon by the parties and where no period has been agreed upon. The two new institutions for the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes provided for in the Bill are the Works Committees consisting of representatives of employers and workmen. for a period of one year.14 days in the case of Conciliation Officers and two months in the case of Board of Conciliation from the date of notice of strike. any industry to be a public utility service. except where considerations of public interest override such rights. the provisions of the Trade Disputes Act. by notification in the Official Gazette. for such period. and also where the appropriate Government considers it expedient so to do. The Bill also empowers the appropriate Government to declare. if public interest or emergency so requires.

The Legislature discussed. 1947 received the assent and came on the Statute Book on 11th March. pp. Though the Industrial Disputes Bill. 1947 (14 of 1947) into force on 1-4-1947. amended and passed the Industrial Disputes Bill.Gazette of India. . 33-35. the Legislature in its wisdom brought the Industrial Disputes Act. Part V. 1947. 1947 in the light of the Original Bill and The Reported Bill.

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