By an exchange of letters dated 18 and 19 December 2000, Chile and the European Community agreed to submit a dispute concerning the conservation and sustainable exploitation of swordfish stocks in the South-Eastern Pacific Ocean to a special chamber of the Tribunal to be formed in accordance with article 15, paragraph 2, of the Statute.By Order dated 20 December 2000, the Tribunal decided to accede to the request of the parties to form a special chamber to deal with the case and determined the composition of the Special Chamber with their approval. The composition of the Special Chamber was as follows: President: P. Chandrasekhara Rao, Members: Judge Hugo Caminos, Judge Alexander Yankov, Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum and Judge ad hoc Francisco Orrego Vicuña. By the same Order, the Tribunal made provision in respect of preliminary objections and for the filing of the written pleadings. The case was entered in the list of cases as Case No. 7.
By separate letters dated 9 March 2001, the parties informed the President of the Special Chamber that they had reached a provisional arrangement concerning the dispute and requested that the proceedings before the Chamber be suspended. In their letters, each party reserved its right to revive the proceedings at any time. Further to the request of the parties, the President of the Special Chamber, by Order dated 15 March 2001, extended the time limit for making preliminary objections. Under the Order, the time limit of 90 days for the making of preliminary objections would commence from 1 January 2004 and each party would have the right to request that the time limit should begin to apply from any date prior to 1 January 2004.
In 2003, the parties renewed their request to suspend proceedings. By Order of 16 December 2003, the President of the Special Chamber extended the time limit fixed for the submission of preliminary objections to 1 January 2006.
Further to new requests from the parties, by Orders of 29 December 2005 and 30 November 2007, the Special Chamber extended the time limits for making preliminary objections such that they commenced from 1 January 2008 and 1 January 2009, respectively.
By letters dated 20 October 2008 and 23 October 2008, respectively, the European Community and Chile informed the Special Chamber that they had agreed on a draft text of a new “Understanding Concerning the Conservation of Swordfish Stocks in the South-Eastern Pacific Ocean”. On that basis, the parties requested that the time limits for the proceedings before the Special Chamber continue to be suspended for at least one further year starting from 1 January 2009. Further to the request of the parties, by Order dated 11 December 2008, the Special Chamber extended the time limit for making preliminary objections until 1 January 2010 and maintained the rights of the parties to revive the proceedings at any time.
The European Community, by a letter dated 13 October 2009, and Chile, by an e-mail of 25 November 2009, informed the Special Chamber that the parties had held bilateral consultations on 5 and 6 October 2009 and had agreed to report to the Special Chamber the following:
“Both the European Community and Chile are committed to the signature, ratification or approval, and implementation of and compliance with the Understanding agreed between negotiators for both Parties on 16 October 2008. As a consequence, in accordance with the provisions of the said Understanding, parties will not seek a further extension of the suspension of the Proceedings of Case No. 7, but will request the Special Chamber to issue an Order for discontinuance of the case. The Parties are ready to provide the Special Chamber with further particulars on the occasion of the forthcoming consultations between the President of the Special Chamber and the agents of the parties.”
In response to a request made by the Special Chamber on 30 November 2009, the agents of the parties provided additional information in a joint communication dated 15 December 2009. The European Community and Chile informed the Special Chamber that they were committed to the signature, ratification or approval and implementation of, and compliance with, the new understanding agreed between negotiators for both parties on 16 October 2008.
The Special Chamber met on 15 and 16 December 2009 in order to consider the request. Following deliberation, the Chamber, at a sitting held on 16 December 2009, adopted an Order by means of which it placed on record the discontinuance, by agreement of the parties, of the proceedings initiated on 20 December 2000 by Chile and the European Union, and ordered that the case be removed from the list of cases.
Institution of Proceedings
- Order 2000/3 of 20 December 2000
- Order 2001/1 of 15 March 2001
- Order 2003/2 of 16 December 2003
- Order 2005/1 of 29 December 2005
- Order 2007/3 of 30 November 2007
- Order 2008/1 of 11 December 2008
- Order 2009/1 of 16 December 2009
- ITLOS/Press 43: Case on Conservation of Swordfish Stocks between Chile and the European Community in the South-Eastern Pacific Ocean before Special Chamber of the Tribunal
- ITLOS/Press 45: President of the Special Chamber extends time-limits
- ITLOS/Press 87: Time-limits extended at the request of the parties
- ITLOS/Press 102: The Special Chamber adopts an order for a further extension of time-limits
- ITLOS/Press 117: Chamber accedes to Parties' request for extension of time-limits
- ITLOS/Press 129: Chamber accedes to Parties' request for extension of time-limits
- ITLOS/Press 141: Case removed from the Tribunal's List