In the absence of a United Nations Security Council mandate, it is difficult to ensure innocent and transit passage through navigational straits and/ or territorial waters ("Maritime Chokepoints"), such as the Bab-el-Mandeb or the Straits of Hormuz. Many states, whether they are a signatory party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) or not, reserve their own traditional interpretations of what counts as "innocent passage" and "transit passage" through maritime chokepoints. Under UNCLOS, coastal states can establish and enforce laws for their territorial waters, but they cannot prevent passage through maritime chokepoints even if these are included within their waters. In recent years, these restrictions have raised several interesting legal questions as the definition of what counts as "innocent" has been blurred during assymetrical warfare in the Gulf region, both in the context of the civil war in Yemen and in the low-intensity exchange of maritime attacks and sabotage between Israel and Iran.
In this international online webinar, hosted and sponsored by research institutes from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Germany, we will bring together maritime and legal experts from around the world to discuss practical implications, regulatory tools and lawful responses to violations of maritime transit, with a special focus on countries that are not party to UNCLOS.
The webinar will take place via Zoom on June 7, 2021, and will begin at 7am from those on the East Coast in the US (ECT), 2pm for those in Israel (IST), and 3pm for those in the Gulf region (UAE time). It will run for approximately 2.5 hours. To attend, please, register in advance here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-7qBDfC_Sx2FpxFvRRL5ww
7am – Opening remarks
Director, Prof. Rear Admiral (Ret.) Shaul Chorev, Head of Maritime Policy & Strategy Research Center (HMS), Haifa Israel
Dr. Alexander Brakel, Head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) office in Israel
7:15am – Panel 1 – Innocent Passage and Transit Passage
Panel Moderator: Dr. Elai Rettig, Senior Fellow Maritime Policy & Strategy Research Center (HMS), Haifa Israel
Professor Donald R. Rothwell, FAAL, Australian National University (ANU) – The distinction between Innocent Passage and Transit Passage according to UNCLOS
Dr. Stephen Blackwell, TRENDS, Scientific Advisor, Director of Strategic Studies – The international legal status of the Straits of Hormuz
Dr. Benny Spanier, Senior Fellow Maritime Policy & Strategy Research Center (HMS), Haifa Israel – The Straits of Tiran (The Red Sea): From the peace agreement between Israel & Egypt to UNCLOS
8:30am – Panel 2 – Practical Implications, Regulatory Tools and Lawful Responses to Violations
Panel Moderator: Adv. Orin Shefler, Senior Fellow Maritime Policy & Strategy Research Center (HMS), Haifa Israel
Judge Ida Caracciolo, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea – Implications to the Eastern Mediterranean
Dr. Natalie Klein, Professor of International Law University of UNSW Sydney – Lawful responses to passage violations, rules of escort and the use of force under UNCLOS
Aris Marghelis, Ph.D., Associate Researcher at the Center of Maritime and Oceanic Law (CDMO), University of Nantes, France – UNCLOS as a regulatory tool of International Relations: the military matter and the constructive imprecision