Published by: Meghna Singh


The Permanent Court Of Arbitration on second July 2020 in a long run case of Enrica Lexie consistently held that Italy is qualified for pay to India. The court additionally dismissed, by 3:2, India’s conflict that the two sailors who were blamed for murdering the Indian anglers could be attempted in India. The court in its award requested India to stop all the criminal procedures against the two sailors and requested that Italy start criminal procedures against them. Along these lines dismissing India’s purview for the situation.


On February 15, 2012, police confined two Italian sailors who shot two Indian anglers who were at about a distance of 20.5 Nautical Miles from the coastline. The two anglers were on their fishing boat named ‘St. Antony’ which happened to pass by a big hauler named ‘Enrica Lexie’ bearing the Italian Flag. The two sailors started shooting at the angler under the impression of them being a few pirates, which in the end ended the life of both of the anglers.

This episode brought about a bilateral dispute between the parties. It additionally caused a rift in a smooth connection between India and Italy. The connection between the nations got acrid post this occurrence in 2012. The capture of marines was opposed by the Republic of Italy under the watchful eye of the Kerala High Court. It guaranteed that India had no jurisdiction to carry forward the trial of the two Italian maritime marines. Italy incited Article 97 of The United Nations Conventions on The Law of Seas.

Further, the Republic of Italy additionally documented a Writ Petition in the Supreme Court of India under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. The court in answer to this held Article 97 of UNCLOS can’t be reached out to the criminal act of slaughtering two Indian anglers on board. The Court likewise said that Article 97 of UNCLOS just applies to the High Seas, which doesn’t frame some portion of the Exclusive Economic Zone, Territorial Waters, or inside Waters of any country. Thus expressing that India has jurisdiction over the issue. The court likewise expressed that it’s just the Indian union government that has jurisdiction over the issue, and not the state government.

In July 2015 the case was taken to the International Tribunal for the Law of Seas, a free legal body under UNCLOS, by Italy. The Republic of Italy documented an Arbitration case under Annex VII of UNCLOS. The ITLOS asked both the nations, India and Italy to suspend all the indictment for the situation. Both the marines returned to Italy in 2014 and 2016, individually on the health grounds.

The issue was additionally alluded to by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an intergovernmental association based in The Hague by the ITLOS. The hearing of the issue was held at the seat of the Permanent Court of Arbitration from the eighth of July 2019 to the twentieth of July 2019. Jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal was addressed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration. PCA likewise addressed the merits of Italy’s claims and India’s counterclaims.


In a humongous 4:1 decision, the seat held that the dispute existed between the parties over the episode which occurred on the fifteenth of February 2012 and the state is qualified to practice its jurisdiction over it. The contest between the parties concerned the understanding and application of the convention. It was demonstrated by the point that the Arbitral Tribunal had jurisdiction over the matter.

It was likewise held by the seat that the activity of the Italian marines which established the activity of Italy breached India’s right. It was seen under Article 87(1)(a) and 90 of UNCLOS. It was additionally observed by the seat that India and Italy had simultaneous jurisdiction over the matter.

Intending to Italy’s accommodation, the Tribunal by 3:2 votes held that the two Italian marines were qualified for diplomatic immunity as they were the Italian state authorities. According to the United Nations Convention on The Law of Seas, no Italian state authorities can be tried in India. Subsequently, saying that India is blocked from practicing its jurisdiction in the issue.

It was additionally held by the Tribunal that India is entitled to the compensation as the occurrence caused death, physical harm, material harm of the property, and the ethical damage endured by the chief and the group of the ‘St Antony’. The amount of the payment was to be decided upon by both the nations. It likewise took a responsibility of note from Italy that they will proceed with the criminal procedures against the marines. The Italian government consented to the decision of the Tribunal.


Indian government chose to proceed with the arbitral award passed by the permanent court of arbitration. In advancement, to this choice appropriate advances have been taken by the Indian Government to end the progressing criminal proceeding in the Supreme Court of India. In the end, it was Italy who took the issue from the hands of India. As the arbitral award goes for Italy it ought to likewise guarantee that it follows through on its responsibility by trying the marines under its local laws. India should also likewise remove the exercises in the legal and diplomatic areas from this experience.

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