Today the Tribunal commences the hearing on the Requests duly filed on 30 July 1999 with the Registrar of the Tribunal by New Zealand and Australia for the prescription of provisional measures in the Southern Bluefin Tuna (provisional measures) Cases. New Zealand's Request was received first and was entered in the List of cases as Case No. 3. Australia's Request was subsequently entered in the List of cases as Case No. 4. They have been listed as the Southern Bluefin Tuna (Requests for provisional measures) Cases.
The requests for the prescription of provisional measures are made under article 290, paragraph 5, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which provides for the prescription of provisional measures by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea pending the constitution of an arbitral tribunal in accordance with Annex VII to the Convention to which the merits of the dispute have been submitted. The Tribunal was informed that the notification concerning the arbitral proceedings was conveyed to Japan on 15 July 1999.