HRAS to tackle human rights abuses at sea, under arbitration initiative


In fact, under their collaboration, both sides plan to launch an arbitration-based mechanism, which seeks to establish a standalone, institutional system of international arbitration that is specifically tailored to the sensitivities and complexities of human rights at sea issues.

As explained:

“A central feature of this system is that it will put the enforcement of human rights in the victim’s hands by giving the victim the right to bring claims directly against alleged responsible parties. The foremost aim of this design – and of the initiative more generally – is to provide victims of human rights abuses at sea with access to an effective remedy, while at the same time combating impunity for the perpetrators of such abuses.”

To remind, the project was first established back in 2020 and focused mainly on the conceptual underpinnings of an arbitration-based system for addressing human rights at sea issues.

However, following extensive research, analysis and blueprinting, the initiative is now turning attention to creating the first elements of what it is hoped will ultimately become a standalone arbitration system for resolving human rights at sea disputes.

These first elements include a model offer of consent to arbitrate human rights disputes that can be given by States, as well as model arbitration clauses for use in employment and other contracts, both of which are expected to be ready for publication in the first quarter of 2021.

Dr. Yas Banifatemi, partner at Shearman & Sterling and the firm’s Global International Arbitration Practice Group Leader, stated:

“Providing all victims of human rights abuse at sea access to a fair and adapted legal process is our priority. The Human Rights at Sea initiative is delighted to embark on this new phase of work and to create the building blocks of a neutral and efficient forum to resolve human rights at sea disputes.”

In addition, the initiative is also in the process of developing a set of dedicated arbitration rules that could be used for the resolution of human rights at sea issues, for publication later in the year.

“2021 will see significant developments refining this vitally important joint initiative for establishing a new and innovative route to effective remedy for victims of abuse at sea.”

….Human Rights at Sea CEO, David Hammond, concluded.



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