History

3 December 1973, New York

Opening of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, during which the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is drafted. The conference is held in New York, Geneva and Caracas.

27 August 1974, Caracas

The informal working group formed to discuss all matters pertaining to the settlement of disputes which could arise out the application or interpretation of the Convention proposes three distinct mechanisms, i.e. arbitration, the International Court of Justice and a tribunal for the law of the sea in what was known as the 'Document of Caracas'.

22-23 March 1975, Geneva

The proposals for a three-fold mechanism for the settlement of disputes become known as the 'Montreux Formula' after a meeting of the informal working group in Montreux. 

May 1975, Geneva

After the third session, the President of the Conference submits to the delegations an informal single negotiating text on the settlement of disputes which contains a draft Statute of the Law of the Sea Tribunal, but also considers the creation of a tribunal to deal exclusively with activities in the Area, as an organ of the International Seabed Authority. 

1976, New York

The issue of the settlement of disputes is debated for the first time in the plenary of the Conference. The 'Montreux Formula' is adopted and the Conference opts for the creation of a single tribunal with a specialized chamber to deal with disputes relating to the Area.

15 July 1977, New York

The first consolidated text of the proposed Convention is presented, with the dispute settlement procedure accepted as an integral part of the Convention rather than an additional and optional protocol.

22 September 1980, New York

The name for the adjudicatory body created by the Convention is adopted: the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

21 August 1981, New York

Hamburg is chosen as the seat of the Tribunal by the Conference.

10 December 1982, Montego Bay

The Convention opens for signature.

15 March 1983, Kingston

The first meeting of the Preparatory Committee to discuss all issues pertaining to the concrete establishment and operation of the Tribunal.

16 November 1993, New York

Guyana deposits the 60th ratification of the Convention with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, allowing the Convention to enter into force twelve months later.

14 October 1994, New York

The Federal Republic of Germany accedes to the Convention.

16 November 1994, New York

The Convention enters into force.

22 November 1994, New York

The first Meeting of the Parties to the Law of the Sea Convention. The Parties agree to defer the first election of the members of the Tribunal to 1 August 1996.

1 August 1996, New York

The election of the first 21 Judges by the fifth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention.

5 October 1996, Hamburg

The Judges elect the first President of the Tribunal (Thomas A. Mensah of Ghana) and Vice-President (Rüdiger Wolfrum of Germany).

18 October 1996, Hamburg

The ceremonial inauguration of the Tribunal takes place in the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

21 October 1996, Hamburg

The Tribunal appoints Gritakumar Chitty (Sri Lanka) as Registrar.

17 December 1996, New York

The Tribunal is granted observer status at the UN General Assembly.

3 March 1997, Hamburg

The Tribunal establishes the Seabed Disputes Chamber, the Chamber for Fisheries Disputes and the Chamber for Marine Environment Disputes.

23 May 1997

The Parties to the Law of the Sea Convention adopt the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

28 October 1997, Hamburg

The Tribunal adopts its Rules of Procedure.

13 November 1997, Hamburg

The first case is submitted to the Tribunal, The M/V "SAIGA" Case (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines v. Guinea), Prompt Release.

4 December 1997, Hamburg

The Tribunal delivers its first judgment.

18 December 1997, Hamburg

The United Nations and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea sign an Agreement on Cooperation and Relationship.

8 September 1998, Hamburg

Entry into force of the Relationship Agreement between the Tribunal and the United Nations.

3 July 2000, Hamburg

The official opening of the new headquarters of the Tribunal takes place in the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan.

10 December 2003, Hamburg

Establishment of the International Foundation for the Law of the Sea (IFLOS).

14 December 2004, Berlin

Agreement signed between the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Federal Republic of Germany regarding the Headquarters of the Tribunal.

29 September 2006, Hamburg

The Tenth Anniversary of the Tribunal.

16 March 2007, Hamburg

The Tribunal creates a standing special chamber to deal with maritime delimitation disputes pursuant to article 15, paragraph 1, of the Tribunal's Statute.