JEAIL > Volume 8(2); 2015 > Note & Comment
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2015

Russian Absence at the Arctic Sunrise Case: A Comparison with the Chinese Position in the South China Sea Arbitration

Chao Zhang
Shandong University School of Law
No.5 Hongjialou, Jinan City, Shandong Province 250100 P.R. China
Yen-Chiang Chang
Shandong University Law School of Law
No.5 Hongjialou, Jinan City, Shandong Province 250100 P.R. China
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The MV Arctic Sunrise, a vessel bearing the flag of the Netherlands, was detained by Russian authorities. The Netherlands instituted Annex VII arbitral proceedings against the Russian Federation and requested the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to prescribe provisional measures for the immediate release of the vessel and its crewmembers. On January 22, 2013, the Philippines instituted arbitral proceedings to challenge China's claims over the South China Sea and the underlying seabed. Both China and Russia claim that the tribunal in question does not have jurisdiction, and neither of them appeared before the tribunal. This article offers an analysis of the facts and reasoning in the Arctic Sunrise case concerning Russia's declaration and its non-appearance. Furthermore, this article explores the relevant provisions of UNCLOS and relevant views, as well as attitudes of ITLOS towards certain issues.

Keywords : Arctic Sunrise, UNCLOS, ITLOS, Jurisdiction, Default of Appearance, Declaration

View the Full Text