On 9 March 2019, the Director, José Maura and Legal Counsel, Kensuke Kobayashi, attended a one-day workshop on liability and compensation which was organised by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The workshop, which took place in Kingston, Jamaica, where the Headquarters of the ISA is located, was attended by members of the Legal and Technical Commission who were seeking to acquire a basic understanding of the general rules and principles governing liability and compensation. The workshop was intended to assist the Commission members and the ISA as they consider the potential options that could be explored to ensure the ISA meets its obligations with regard to liability for damage arising from deep seabed mining activities in the area.
The Director gave a presentation on the role and general framework of the IOPC Funds and dedicated some time to the Funds’ policy on claims for environmental damage. The workshop concluded with a round table discussion, to which the Director and Legal Counsel contributed, answering various questions and providing explanations on particular points of interest.
On 11 March, Mr Maura and Mr Kobayashi held a meeting with the Secretary-General of the ISA, Mr Michael W Lodge. They discussed in further detail the potential liability and compensation issues that could arise from the seabed activities and also the possible future cooperation between the two organisations.
Mr Maura and Mr Kobayashi also took the opportunity to visit the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) to meet with its Director-General, Rear-Admiral Peter Brady and Director of Legal Affairs, Mr Bertrand Smith. Mr Maura was delighted to learn of the progress made since the regional workshop run by the IOPC Funds in Kingston in November 2018.