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EU court encouraged to invalidate fisheries agreement with Morocco January 10,2018   |  Source: Jurist

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice issued an opinion Wednesday urging the court to void the EU's fisheries agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco.

Advocate General Melchior Wathelet grounded his decision [press release] in the concepts of self-determination, sovereignty over natural resources and humanitarian rules concerning disputed or occupied territories.

The principle concern is over the status of the Western Sahara, a territory that Morocco has claimed since 1975 but which remains partially administered by the independence-minded Polisario Front.

Because the EU recognizes the fundamental concept of self-determination of states, argues Wathelet, the fact that the current fisheries agreement allows for the exploitation of Western Sahara's territorial waters is a violation of its inhabitants right to self-determination. Furthermore, since EU law recognizes a right to perpetual sovereignty over natural resources for the benefit inhabitants use by the waters by Morocco would be a violation. And finally, EU law forbids the Union or its members from making agreements concerning the exploitation of occupied or disputed territories, which the Western Sahara is.

The opinion announced Wednesday is not binding on the court but rather seeks to persuade the

 

© JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013

Theme(s): Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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