Fisheries Jurisdiction Case Spain v Canada Preliminary objections

10 May 1994 Canada made a declaration accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ with exception of, inter alia: ‘disputes arising out of or concerning conservation and management measures taken by Canada with respect to vessels fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area and the enforcement of such measures’ 10 May 1994, Canada amended the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act extending its area of application to include the Regulatory Area of NAFO Northwest American Fisheries Organisation 12 May 1994 Canada amended its criminal code making offences relating to the NAFO area 9 March 1995 the Estai, Spanish vessel was intercepted and detained by Canadian vessels in the NAFO area, 245 miles from the Canadian Coast, the vessel was seised and the master arrested and charged Spain brought a case against Canada basing jurisdiction on compulsory clause declarations

(84) The court finds that the use of force authorised by Canadian legislation falls within the ambit of enforcement of conservation and management measures and thus falls under the reservation of the Canada’s declaration to compulsory jurisdiction, notwithstanding that the reservation does not mention the term use of force. The court did not have jurisdiction