The M/T “San Padre Pio” Case (Switzerland v. Nigeria), Provisional Measures

On 6 May 2019, Switzerland instituted arbitral proceedings under Annex VII to the Convention against Nigeria in a dispute concerning the arrest and detention of the M/T “San Padre Pio”, its crew and cargo.

Pending the constitution of the arbitral tribunal and after the expiry of the two-week time limit provided for by article 290, paragraph 5, of the Convention, Switzerland, on 21 May 2019, submitted to the Tribunal a request for the prescription of provisional measures in respect of the dispute. The case was entered in the Tribunal’s list of cases as Case No. 27.

By an Order dated 29 May 2019, after having ascertained the views of the parties, the President fixed 21 and 22 June 2019 as the dates for the hearing.

Both Switzerland and Nigeria chose judges ad hoc pursuant to article 17 of the Statute and article 19 of the Rules. Ms. Anna Petrig was chosen as judge ad hoc by Switzerland and Mr. Sean David Murphy was chosen as judge ad hoc by Nigeria.

Nigeria filed with the Tribunal a Statement in Response on 17 June 2019.

Prior to the opening of the hearing, the Tribunal held initial deliberations on 20 June 2019.

Oral statements were presented on 21 and 22 June 2019, in four public sittings. In accordance with article 75, paragraph 2, of the Rules, the parties presented their final submissions at the hearing on 22 June 2019.

The Tribunal delivered its Order on 6 July 2019.       

On 22 July 2019, each party submitted an initial report on compliance with the provisional measures prescribed. Pursuant to requests from the President of the Tribunal in accordance with article 95 of the Rules and paragraph 146(3) of the Order of 6 July 2019, the parties furnished additional information and reports regarding compliance with the provisional measures prescribed by the Tribunal. Switzerland made these additional submissions on 16 August 2019, 25 October 2019, 8 November 2019 and 5 November 2020, whereas Nigeria did so on 16 August, 17 September and 10 October 2019.