PCA Press Release

What appears below is a copy of the press release issued on the 22nd of August 2016 pasted into a web format for convenience. The official release is downloadable from the link below.



Download the pdf version

Conciliation between
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and The Commonwealth of Australia


THE HAGUE, 22 August 2016

Commission to hold public opening session followed by hearing on competence

On 29 August 2016, the Conciliation Commission will hold an opening session in the conciliation proceedings between The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (“Timor-Leste”) and the Commonwealth of Australia (“Australia”) under Annex V of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (the “Convention”) at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The Commission has decided, with the agreement of the Parties, that the opening session of the hearing will be webcast live on the website of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. During the opening session, the Parties are invited to address the background to the conciliation and the competence of the Commission.

The opening session will be followed by a hearing on certain objections to the competence of the Commission raised by Australia. This hearing will continue through 31 August 2016 and will not be webcast or open to the public. After having heard the Parties on the objections raised by Australia, the Commission will decide whether to rule on Australia’s objections as a preliminary matter or to continue with the conciliation proceedings and defer the question of competence for later decision.

Webcast of Opening Session

The live webcast will be made available on a dedicated webpage hosted on the PCA website via the following link: https://pca-cpa.org/en/news/timor-leste-australia/. No accreditation or password will be required to access the live webcast.

Video of the opening session and transcripts will also be posted to the PCA website following the session.

The schedule for the opening session of the hearing will be as follows:


Background on the Proceedings

These conciliation proceedings concern the maritime boundary between Timor-Leste and Australia and were initiated by Timor-Leste on 11 April 2016 by way of a “Notification Instituting Conciliation Under

Section 2 of Annex V of UNCLOS” addressed to Australia pursuant to Article 298 and Annex V of the Convention.

On 2 May 2016, Australia submitted “Australia’s Response to the Notice of Conciliation”.

The five-member Conciliation Commission was constituted on 25 June 2016 and is chaired by H.E. Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen (Denmark). The other members of the Commission are Dr. Rosalie Balkin (Australia), Judge Abdul G. Koroma (Sierra Leone), Professor Donald McRae (Canada and New Zealand), and Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum (Germany).

On 28 July 2016, the Conciliation Commission held a procedural meeting with the Parties at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands.

With the agreement of the Parties, the Permanent Court of Arbitration acts as Registry in the proceedings.


The Permanent Court of Arbitration is an intergovernmental organization established by the 1899 Hague Convention on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes. The PCA has 121 Member States. Headquartered at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands, the PCA facilitates arbitration, conciliation, fact-finding, and other dispute resolution proceedings among various combinations of States, State entities, intergovernmental organizations, and private parties. The PCA’s International Bureau is currently administering 8 interstate disputes, 75 investor-State arbitrations, and 34 cases arising under contracts involving a State or other public entity. More information about the PCA can be found at www.pca-cpa.org.

Contact: Permanent Court of Arbitration E-mail: bureau@pca-cpa.org