Privileges and Immunities

Statute of the Tribunal

The Statute contains general provisions concerning the privileges and immunities of the members of the Tribunal. According to article 10 of the Statute, the members of the Tribunal, when engaged on the business of the Tribunal, enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities. The salaries, allowances and compensation received by elected members of the Tribunal, members chosen under article 17 of the Statute and the Registrar are free of all taxation (Statute, article 18, paragraph 8).

Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities

The Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, adopted by the seventh Meeting of States Parties on 23 May 1997, was deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and opened for signature at United Nations Headquarters for twenty-four months from 1 July 1997. The Agreement is subject to ratification or accession and entered into force 30 days after the date of deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession, on 30 December 2001. To date, 21 States have signed and 41 States have ratified or acceded to the Agreement.

Headquarters Agreement

The Agreement between the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Federal Republic of Germany regarding the Headquarters of the Tribunal defines the legal status of the Tribunal in Germany and regulates the relations between the Tribunal and the host country. The Agreement recalls in its Preamble that "the Tribunal should enjoy such legal capacity, privileges and immunities as are necessary for the exercise of its functions". It contains provisions on matters such as the law applicable to the headquarters district, the immunity of the Tribunal, its property, assets and funds, and the privileges, immunities and exemptions to be accorded to the Members of the Tribunal and its officials, as well as to Agents representing parties, counsel and advocates and witnesses and experts who are required to appear before the Tribunal.

The Headquarters Agreement was signed on 14 December 2004 in Berlin and entered into force on 1 May 2007.