Written by Nereus Fellow Solène Guggisberg,
On 11 February 2019, Solène Guggisberg presented a paper at the Women in International Law event New female voices in legal academia, which took place at the Austrian ambassador’s residence in the Hague and gathered an audience of diplomats, practitioners, and academics. Her presentation focused on the “Roles, challenges, and advantages or using litigation for sustainable fisheries”.
In the absence of a compliance mechanism at the global level to verify whether States are respecting their international fisheries law obligations, bringing non-compliant actors to court is a path to consider in order to achieve sustainable fisheries. Scenarios examined in the presentation included going after flag States for failure to control their vessels or holding coastal States accountable for mismanaging the resources under their jurisdiction. Both strategies could face some jurisdiction and admissibility hurdles, but recent jurisprudential and practical developments demonstrate that avenues are increasingly open.