The International Tribunal for the Laws of the Sea ruled that the documentation presented on behalf of the Grand Prince failed to establish that Belize was the flag state of the vessel when it submitted its Application Form. This Tribunal stated that they had no jurisdiction under Article 292 of the Convention and denied the application.
Furthermore, the Tribunal stated that under these circumstances the “Tribunalis not called upon to deal with the submissions of the parties on the remaining questions of jurisdiction, admissibility, and merits of the application? The Tribunal voted 12-9.
The Tribunals ruling was really based on their own need to ask the question of jurisdiction. They stated that even if both parties did not bring it into question it was up to the Tribunal to decide if they have proper jurisdiction to entertain the Application. This is exactly what they did when they questioned the Nationality of the Grand Prince. Under article 292 of the Convention it states that, “The application for release may be made only by or on behalf of the flag State of the vessel.” Since the Application for the Grand Prince was submitted after Belize terminated their registration the Tribunal had no jurisdiction to hear the Application at all. All other questions put forth by the Application were void do to this ruling.