The Arbitral Tribunal has determined that the hearing in the UNCLOS Annex VII arbitration concerning the “Enrica Lexie” Incident (Italy v. India) will be held from 8 July to 20 July 2019 at the seat of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (“PCA”) at the Peace Palace, The Hague, the Netherlands.
The dispute arises from an incident which occurred off the coast of India when Italian marines on board the ‘Enrica Lexie’, an oil tanker flying the Italian flag, allegedly killed two Indian fishermen. Italy challenges India’s subsequent exercise of criminal jurisdiction over the vessel and the marines from the Italian Navy.
The arbitral proceedings were instituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on 26 June 2015, when Italy served on India a ‘Notification under Article 287 and Annex VII, Article 1 of UNCLOS and Statement of Claim and Grounds on Which it is Based’.
After the Arbitral Tribunal adopted on 29 April 2016 an Order in respect of Italy’s Request for the Prescription of Provisional Measures pursuant to Article 290, para. 1 of UNCLOS, the Parties exchanges written pleadings on the Tribunal’s jurisdiction and the merits of the case.
The hearing was originally scheduled to take place in the fall of 2018, but was postponed due to illness of the arbitrator appointed by India, Judge Patibandla Chandrasekhara Rao, who subsequently passed away on 11 October 2018. On 26 November 2018, the Republic of India appointed Dr. Pemmaraju Sreenivasa Rao as arbitrator to replace the late Judge Rao.