The coastal waters offshore the territory of Western Sahara
These waters have become contentious because of seabed petroleum exploration and fisheries undertaken pursuant to treaties between Morocco and the EU, Japan, and Russia. These activities have been protested by the territory’s government-in-exile, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.
Jeffrey Smith will elaborate on the status of the Saharan coastal waters based on the fact that Western Sahara is a non-self governing territory, that has been occupied by Morocco since 1975, and the obligations on states and individuals interested in exploring and extracting Saharan ocean resources. The ECJ’s recent rulings on Western Sahara will also be adequately reflected.
Jeffrey Smith is a Canadian law professor (Carleton University), lawyer and doctoral fellow (McGill University). He was previously counsel for the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor, engaged in the international law dimensions of that country's preparation for independence in 2002. Smith has written extensively about Western Sahara, including its fisheries and environmental protection challenges, and the history and status of the Saharawi state-in-exile. His present areas of research include the development of international environmental law within the law of the sea, climate change regulation, human migration, and governance of the Arctic Ocean area.