096- Fisheries Jurisdiction Case (Spain vs Canada)

The Kingdom of Spain filed on March 28th, 1995 an application instituting proceedings against Canada before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), alleging the breach of various measures of international law relating to fishing on the “high seas”. Indeed, under a national law, Canada prohibited any boat from fishing in the regulatory area of ​​the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) meaning in the high seas, outside the exclusive economic zone of Canada. This legislation also expressly permitted the use of force against foreign fishing boats, specifically targeting vessels flying the Spanish and Portuguese flags, in areas that the said law qualifies as “high seas”.

The respondent state raised preliminary objections, challenging the jurisdiction of the Court to hear this case. In its judgment of December 4th, 1998, the ICJ declared that it did not have jurisdiction, considering that the legal issue raised was falling under one of the reservations contained in the Canadian declaration under Article 36 paragraph 2 of the Statute of the Court.

Judgment of 04-12-1998.pdf

This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.