Monthly Archives: March 2014

12th anniversary of Australia’s withdrawal from the International Court of Justice on maritime boundary matters

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tomorrow (March 21) marks the 12th anniversary of when Australia quietly withdrew Australia’s recognition of the maritime boundary jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.

It did this just two months before East Timor became independent and the Timor Sea Justice Campaign’s Tom Clarke said it was no coincidence.

“To put it bluntly, Australia gave the independent umpire the finger. It was a very clear signal that Australia had no intention of playing by the rules when it came to negotiating with East Timor over lucrative oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea,” said Mr Clarke.

By turning its back on the independent umpire, Australia left East Timor with no legal avenue in which to challenge Australia’s refusal to establish permanent maritime boundaries or Australia’s unilateral depletion of the contested oil fields of Laminaria Corallina. Continue reading


Stop Spying On Timor, Court Tells Australia by Tom Clarke
Published on ( 5 March 2014

In a world first, the International Court of Justice has ordered Australia to stop spying on East Timor, writes the Timor Sea Justice Campaign’s Tom Clarke (Ed. See their website at
Yesterday, the ICJ delivered a provisional decision in a case that East Timor brought against Australia, following dramatic ASIO raids that occurred late last year on the Canberra offices of Timor’s lawyers. The lawyers had been preparing for a significant legal proceeding challenging an oil and gas treaty when ASIO seized the legal team’s documents and the passport of a key witness.
Concerned that this would give Australia an unfair advantage in the case, East Timor launched an injunction-like legal action to have the documents handed back or given to the ICJ for safe keeping.
The ICJ has accepted assurances from Australia’s Attorney-General, George Brandis, that he has made undertakings to ensure no one will read the seized files until the court has made a final decision on the legality of the raids and whether the documents will need to be returned.
However, the ICJ also delivered a clear, binding legal order for Australia not to use national security as an alibi for conducting commercial espionage and insisted that Australia cease inferring with East Timor’s communications with its lawyers. Continue reading