International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS)

Tribunal international du droit de la mer
Tribunal Internacional del Derecho del Mar
Internationaler Seegerichtshof

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Set up by T-XT8298 - United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which came into force 16 Nov 1994, as an independent judicial body. The U-XE1137 - Preparatory Commission for the International Seabed Authority and for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (LOS PrepCom) made the necessary recommendations regarding the practical arrangements for the establishment of the Tribunal. The first 21 judges inaugurated 18 Oct 1996. Seat of the Tribunal is in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (Germany).


Adjudicate over disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention, and over all matters specifically provided for in any other agreement which confers jurisdiction on the Tribunal.


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21 Judges are elected by States Parties to the Convention serving a 9-year-term, with one third of the Judges being elected every 3 years. A President and Vice-President of the Tribunal are elected by secret ballot by a majority of the Judges. Pursuant to the provisions of its Statute, the Tribunal has formed the following Chambers: the Chamber of Summary Procedure (5 Judges), the Chamber for Fisheries Disputes (9 Judges), the Chamber for Marine Environment Disputes (9 Judges) and the Chamber for Maritime Delimitation Disputes (9 Judges). Composed of 11 Judges, the Seabed Disputes Chamber is established in accordance with Part XI, section 5, of the Convention and article 14 of the Statute. The Registry is the legal and administrative secretariat, and is headed by the Registrar with the assistance of the Deputy Registrar.


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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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