Equal justice under water

Foreground | Norway’s highest court decides whether Oslo can regulate the depths around Svalbard

Like crabs for oil? (Photo: Kystvaka)

Kevin McGwin

In a Norwegian supreme-court case expected to be decided this week, a panel of 11 justices will determine whether the EU has the right to issue licenses to fish snow crab off Svalbard. Oslo and Brussels have a long-standing row over crab-fishing rights, but the outcome of the case will be particularly closely watched for its relevance to other offshore industries, in particular oil.

“The question of the snow crab is a proxy for oil. Because what is valid for the snow crab is valid for the oil industry,” Øystein Jensen, of Fridtjof Nansens Institutt, an Oslo-based research outfit, told Reuters, a news outlet, in January.

As a sign of the significance of the case, 11 justices, rather than the normal five, heard arguments in the case, which began on Jan 15. A decision to expand the number of justices is made if the outcome of a case is expected to set a precedent.

At the time, the court said it expected to have decision three to four weeks after arguments closed on January 17.

When: TBD
Where: Oslo, Norway
WWW: EU-Norway dispute over snow crab fishing in Svalbard

Related links
Crabtacular! Snow crabs on their march from Svalbard to Brussels

Foreground articles offer a preview of events related to the Arctic that will be taking place in coming week.

If you have a topic you think ought to be profiled in a coming week, please e-mail kevin@rasmussen.is.

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