Arron Honnibal defends his PhD dissertation on 13 March 2019 at Utrecht University. His dissertation is entitled: Extraterritorial Port State Measures: The basis and limits of unilateral port state jurisdiction to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Port state measures are at the forefront of global practice to address IUU fishing and have been vital to the work of the EU on this matter. The sustainability of fisheries is always a hot topic and the PhD demonstrates how states are and can be doing more to address the legality of fish passing through their ports.
Important conclusions of this dissertation
The crux of the uncertainty within international law is that the practice of states upon port state jurisdiction (PSJ) demonstrates distinctions in jurisdiction which cannot be explained or justified by applying the grounds for prescriptive and enforcement state jurisdiction. Port state measures (PSMs) deviate from the permissive grounds both in prescription and enforcement state jurisdiction. PSJ must be re-systematised, jurisdiction being distinguished into domaine réservé-based jurisdiction (the denial of port privileges for port entry or use) and state jurisdiction (imposing port state offences or the imposition of more onerous enforcement measures). For port state offences, this manuscript demonstrates that emerging trends of ‘territorial extension’ is equally applicable here. The territorial element of in-port conduct is crafted as the offence for the question of jurisdiction, yet defined extraterritorial conduct remains an essential underlying element triggering the territorial offence.
In respect of law of the sea limitations, the minimum role of port states has evolved through practice. In combatting IUU fishing, the generally accepted responsibilities of port states are well established in some regions and have increasing global application. Treaty-based port state responsibilities are focused on domaine réservé-based prescription of conditions for the use of port privileges and enforced via denial. Concerning the upper limits of jurisdiction many of the previously proposed PSJ limitations, submitted by states to dispute settlement, raised in literature, or diluted in subsequent state practice, were found of little application. Where limits do bite, it will be within limited and defined cases, as opposed to the more academically captivating sweeping limits of general application.