The "Enrica Lexie" Incident (Italy v. India)
The arbitral proceedings were instituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”) on 26 June 2015, when Italy served on India a “Notification under Article 287 and Annex VII, Article 1 of UNCLOS and Statement of Claim and Grounds on Which it is Based”.
According to Italy, the Parties’ dispute arises from an incident approximately 20.5 nautical miles off the coast of India involving the “Enrica Lexie”, an oil tanker flying the Italian flag, and India’s subsequent exercise of criminal jurisdiction over the vessel and two Italian marines from the Italian Navy. According to India, the incident in question concerns the killing of two Indian fishermen on board an Indian vessel named the “St. Antony”, and India’s subsequent exercise of jurisdiction. It is alleged that the two Italian marines aboard the “Enrica Lexie” killed the fishermen.
On 11 December 2015, Italy filed a Request for the Prescription of Provisional Measures pursuant to Article 290, paragraph 1 of UNCLOS. On 26 February 2016, India submitted its Written Observations on that Request. Following a public hearing held in the Peace Palace, on 29 April 2016, the Arbitral Tribunal adopted an Order in respect of Italy’s Request.
In accordance with the procedural calendar established by the Arbitral Tribunal, the Parties subsequently exchanged written pleadings on the Tribunal’s jurisdiction and the merits of the case. On 30 September 2016, Italy filed its Memorial. On 14 April 2017, India submitted its Counter-Memorial, in which it, in addition to responding to Italy’s Memorial, raised objections to the jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal and the admissibility of Italy’s claims, and presented counter-claims. On 11 August 2017, Italy filed its “Reply on the Merits – Counter-Memorial on Jurisdiction – Counter-Memorial on India’s Counter-Claims”. On 15 December 2017, India submitted its “Rejoinder on the Merits – Reply on Jurisdiction – Reply to Italy’s Counter on India’s Counter-Claims”. On 9 March 2018, Italy filed its “Rejoinder on Jurisdiction and on India’s Counter-Claims”.
On 26 November 2018, the Republic of India appointed Dr. Pemmaraju Sreenivasa Rao as arbitrator. Dr. Pemmaraju Sreenivasa Rao succeeds Judge Patibandla Chandrasekhara Rao, who had passed away on 11 October 2018, on the Arbitral Tribunal. In the event of the passing of a member of the Arbitral Tribunal, Article 6 of the Rules of Procedure provides that “the proceedings shall resume at the stage where the arbitrator who was replaced ceased to perform his or her functions, unless the Arbitral Tribunal decides otherwise.”
Due to illness of Judge Rao, the hearing, originally scheduled to take place in the autumn of 2018, was postponed. On 19 December 2018, the Tribunal announced that the hearing would instead be held from 8 July to 20 July 2019 at the seat of the PCA at the Peace Palace, The Hague, the Netherlands.
Pursuant to Article 23, paragraph 3, of the Rules of Procedure, the hearing will in principle be open to the public, although certain portions may be closed in order to protect confidential information. Further details, including the modalities for attending the hearing, will be communicated by the PCA in June 2019.
The hearing will not be broadcast or streamed on the Internet, but the transcripts will be published on the PCA’s website (https://pca-cpa.org/en/cases/117/) in due course after the hearing.
|Name(s) of Claimant(s)||
The Italian Republic (State)
|Name(s) of Respondent(s)||The Republic of India (State)|
|Names of Parties||-|
|Administering institution||Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)|
|Type of case||Inter-state arbitration|
|Subject matter or economic sector||Law of the sea|
|Rules used in arbitral proceedings||Ad Hoc Rules of Procedure|
|Treaty or contract under which proceedings were commenced||
|Language of Proceeding||English|
|Seat of Arbitration (by Country)||- N/A -|
H.E. Judge Vladimir Golitsyn (President)
Professor Francesco Francioni
H.E. Judge Jin-Hyun Paik
H.E. Judge P. Chandrasekhara Rao (until 11 October 2018)
H.E. Judge Patrick L. Robinson
|Representatives of the Claimant(s)||
H.E. Ambassador Francesco Azzarello
Counsel (partial list)
Sir Daniel Bethlehem, QC
20 Essex Street Chambers
Mr. Ben Juratowitch, QC
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
|Representatives of the Respondent(s)||
Dr. Vishnu Dutt Sharma
H.E. Mr. Venu Rajamony
Dr. Luther M. Rangreji
Counsel (partial list)
Professor Alain Pellet
Mr. Rodman Bundy
Eversheds Harry Elias LLP
|Representatives of the Parties|
|Number of Arbitrators in case||5|
|Date of commencement of proceeding||26 June 2015|
|Date of issue of final award||-|
|Length of Proceedings|