I have voted for operative paragraphs (3), (7), (8) and (9) of the Judgment for reasons which differ in certain respects from some of the argumentation set out in the preceding paragraphs of the Judgment.
In the spirit of article 8, paragraph 6, of the Resolution on the Internal Judicial Practice of the Tribunal, this separate opinion will concentrate on these points of difference without traversing the whole ground.
Nationality of the Saiga
The question of the nationality of the Saiga, which divided the Tribunal, arose indirectly. The real issue for decision was whether to uphold or reject Guinea's objection to the locus standi of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (“St. Vincent”) to bring claims before the Tribunal in the capacity of the flag State of the Saiga. It was this issue of standing which led to the detailed consideration of what is a technical question of nationality and ship registration, not connected in the slightest way with the reasons for the arrest. It was accepted by all that the Saiga had Vincentian nationality during certain periods both before and after its arrest. The difference between the parties was whether or not the Saiga had Vincentian nationality during a short period around the end of October 1997 when the ship was arrested. The rival contentions are set out in paragraphs 58 to 61 of the Judgment and need not be repeated here. Paragraph 73 sets out the Tribunal's conclusion on the issue of nationality, a conclusion which I endorse for the following reasons.