New Delhi. 06 July 2020. The Arbitral Tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on 26 June 2015 on the request of Italy in respect of a dispute concerning the incident of 15 February 2012 involving Italian tanker “Enrica Lexie” and Indian fishing vessel “St. Antony” has transmitted its award. The main elements of the award are as follows:
- The Tribunal upheld the conduct of the Indian authorities with respect to the incident under the provisions of the UNCLOS. It held that the actions of the Italian military officers and, consequently, Italy breached India’s freedom of navigation under UNCLOS Article 87(1)(a) and 90.
- The Tribunal observed that India and Italy had concurrent jurisdiction over the incident and a valid legal basis to institute criminal proceedings against the Marines. The Tribunal rejected Italy’s claim to compensation for the detention of the Marines. However, it found that the immunities enjoyed by the Marines as State officials operate as an exception to the jurisdiction of the Indian courts and, hence, preclude them to judge the Marines.
- The Tribunal took note of the commitment expressed by Italy to resume its criminal investigation into the events of 15 February 2012.
- The Tribunal decided that India is entitled to payment of compensation in connection with loss of life, physical harm, material damage to property and moral harm suffered by the captain and other crew members of “St. Antony”. The Tribunal also held that the Parties are invited to consult with each other with a view to reaching agreement on the amount of compensation due to India. The Tribunal also decided that it shall retain jurisdiction should either Party or both Parties wish to apply for a ruling from the Arbitral Tribunal in respect of the quantification of compensation due to India.
India has taken note of the Award and will be in touch with relevant entities on the matter.