EU Court rejects Gibraltar appeal over local fishing

LAST UPDATED: 22 Aug, 2012 @ 12:42
61
SHARE
EU Court rejects Gibraltar appeal over local fishing

EUROPE has rejected Gibraltar’s appeal to ban local fishing.

Gibraltar officials had proposed a ban on fisherman using nets to fish around the Rock, with the purported goal of preserving native wildlife.

According to a spokesperson from the European Court of Justice, the decision is ‘final’ and not open to appeal.

The court in Luxembourg had already rejected Gibraltar’s first appeal, made back in May 2011, against the European Commission’s decision to classify the marine area called the ‘Western Strait’ as protected Spanish territory.

Britain had supported the appeal on the basis that the inscribed zone included a British natural habitat already registered by the UK.

Despite continued protest from Gibraltar officials, the European Commission has stood firmly by the ruling and said it hopes Spain and Britain will work in collaboration going forward.

61 COMMENTS

The Olive Press are not responsible and do not moderate individual comments before they are posted. Anyone who uses racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic language or hate speech will be blocked.
  1. Reality

    ‘Point of the story – if you are so xenophobic that it bothers you to read something in Spanish, in Spain, in a newspaper about Spain – what are you even doing here? It’s as if there are entire communities of foreigners who hate the Spanish, but continue living in Spain anyway. You’re not an African refugee. You can go anywhere in the world you like. No one is forcing you to be here if you hate Spain or the Spanish people’.

    Excellent point. In another post I note that you have asked the Gibraltarians, and please excuse my paraphrasing, why they want to continue to live in a British colony in Spain rather that in a Spanish autonomous region in Spain. I think you have answered your own question. Keep up the good work.

  2. @FurtherBeyond. It’s a fact that the UK gained Gibraltar by treaty is it not? Just like it’s a fact that Spain gained Ceuta by treaty. You try so hard to make out that Ceuta’s situation is so very different from Gibraltar’s, but it isn’t really, there are far more parallels that differences. I’m all for Ceuta remaining Spanish if that’s what the people of Ceuta want. I’m not sure why you think I should make up my mind? Where did I say the ToU was still valid today? Just because a treaty was valid in the past does not necessarily make it still valid today, particularly if it is superseded by subsequent treaties, like the UN Charter for example. As far as I’m concerned the ToU was abrogated the minute Spain first laid siege to Gibraltar after the ToU was signed.

    I don’t think the ICJ website is compromised in any way and it hardly spouts propaganda. Mostly bald reporting of cases… If the ICJ finds, as it has done on several occasions, that the right to self determination trumps territorial integrity then that is good enough for me. I don’t know what that’s not good enough for you, especially since you have repeatedly stated that you believe the line starts at the beginning of the UN age

    On top of that, the UN itself has made it clear that the right to self determination cannot be limited. The UN giveth and the UN taketh away and to date the UN has not taken away or limited the universal right to self determination in any way. As a fully paid up believer in the UN age, I would have thought that was enough for you – but no, you need to trawl the net for “authorities” in international law who happen to co-incide with your warped view of the situation. Personally, your “authorities” don’t stand a chance in the face of ICJ jurisprudence. As for the majority of international law scholars not agreeing that self determination is a fundamental and unlimited right – where did you pull that one from? Any chance you can provide some evidence to back that assertion, because it sounds a lot like BS to me…

  3. FurtherBeyond – “In another post I note that you have asked the Gibraltarians, and please excuse my paraphrasing, why they want to continue to live in a British colony in Spain rather that in a Spanish autonomous region in Spain. I think you have answered your own question. Keep up the good work.”

    The Gibraltarians don’t want to be Spanish because they don’t want to have to read something in a foreign language in a foreign country?

    I understand your point, but I think we may be talking apples and oranges here. A foreign individual who decides to move to a country, but can’t cope with basic cultural differences, such as the language, is quite a bit different than a colony – also of the same foreign population – that has a 300 year history, who didn’t choose to be born there, yet is still fully able to cope within the cultural context fluently.

    Basically – the differences born natives of Gibraltar have for wanting to remain a colony or become independent (of which someone listed a couple dozen or so) are quite a bit different than the reason a foreigner doesn’t want Spanish spoken on an English-language website about Spain.

  4. This is a concise history of Gibraltar. Maybe FarBeyond and others can take out their calculator and sum up the years that Spain as a Nation held Gibraltar as opposed to the 300 hundred years of its British rule. Guzman el Bueno’s ownership of Gibraltar does not count really because he held it as a private gain and did not take it for his country, in fact he bequeathed it under pressure and then tried to take it back from Spain.
    “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_history_of_Gibraltar”

    @ J. Roberts You can turn yourself inside out and FarBeyond will continue to regurgitate the same XVIII Century mindset in this media and in any other media you can come across. But don’t ask him about Ceuta and Melilla because he will immediately go into denial syndrome.
    The problem for Spain is the Moroccan Government are now following Spain’s suit as regards these two Spanish enclaves.

    “http://ecodiario.eleconomista.es/espana/noticias/4211297/08/12/Detenidos-cuatro-activistas-marroquies-que-asaltaron-con-banderas-el-Penon-de-Velez.html”

    If Spain does not respect that they gave Gibraltar in Perpetuity to England, why should they respect something that was taken from them by the Portugese and then the Spaniards took it over by simply transplanting Castillians to augment their vote when in a referendum they were asked whether they wanted to be under the Spanish or the Portugese flag?

    They did the same in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Iberia was then made up by a myriad of small kingdoms usually at war with one another. That is why the Basques, the Catalonians, the Galicians etc don’t want this imposition that was made on them by Castille.

    Who were these Castillians anyway but remnants of the Visigoths? They were one of these myriad of kingdoms who allied with Leon by marriage and then with Aragon in a territory that had been under Rome, Goths and Visigoths, and then the Omyyads, up until the fifteenth century when the Christian Reconquista started.

    Spain is Spain and they will even negate the fact that, who they call Cristobal Colon, was in reputedly a jew going by the name Cristoforo Colombo and that he was not even Spanish, he was an Italian from Genoa, whom they later threw in a dungeon to rot when they had no further use for them.

    @brujo

    Sorry didn’t see your post. Maybe if you read the posts by British Gibraltarians (British citizens in fact) plus the links provided, you will start thinking again about your expressed wish here in this newspaper, that the Spanish authorities stop ambulances carrying critically ill British patients to Spanish hospitals under an agreement by the EU and paid for by the Gibraltar Government tax paying community, just so that you can twist Gibaltar’s arm to giving in to Spain. Or maybe you wont.

  5. Revised, I hate being catty but sometimes comments get up your nose and you cannot help yourself, so trying to be precise and concise here:

    This is a concise history of Gibraltar. Maybe FarBeyond and others can take out their calculator and sum up the years that Spain as a Nation held Gibraltar as opposed to the 300 hundred years of its British rule. Guzman el Bueno’s ownership of Gibraltar does not count really because he held it as a private gain and did not take it for his country, in fact he bequeathed it under pressure and then tried to take it back from Spain.
    “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_history_of_Gibraltar”

    @ J. Roberts You can turn yourself inside out and FarBeyond will continue to regurgitate the same XVIII Century mind-set in this media and in any other media you can come across. But don’t ask him about Ceuta and Melilla because he will immediately go into denial syndrome.

    The problem for Spain is the Moroccan Government is now apparently following Spain’s suit as regards these two Spanish enclaves if you go by the following reports.

    “http://www.diarioelaguijon.com/noticia/4616/”

    “http://ecodiario.eleconomista.es/espana/noticias/4211297/08/12/Detenidos-cuatro-activistas-marroquies-que-asaltaron-con-banderas-el-Penon-de-Velez.html”

    If Spain does not respect that they gave Gibraltar in Perpetuity to England, why should they think they need to respect something that was taken from them by the Portuguese and then the Spaniards took it over by simply transplanting Castilians to augment their vote when, in a referendum, the inhabitants were asked whether they wanted to be under the Spanish or the Portuguese flag?

    They did the same in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Iberia was then made up by a myriad of small kingdoms usually at war with one another. That is why the Basques, the Catalonians, the Galicians etc don’t want this imposition that was made on them by Castile.

    Who were these Castilians anyway but remnants of the Visigoths? They were one of these kingdoms who allied with Leon by marriage and then with Aragon in a territory that had been under Rome, Goths and Visigoths, and then the Omayyad, up until the fifteenth century when the Christian Reconquista started.

    Lets all go back to the Reconquista times, that should be jolly for some!

  6. Reality

    The fact remains that the Gibraltarians are exclusively, and according to international law illegally, occupying a part of Spain. The fact that that occupation has lasted 300 years is neither here nor there as by your own admission they have not assimilated. Clearly they don’t want to be part of Spain. Indeed judging by some of the comments made by them above made they hate everything Spanish.

    I don’t really believe we’re not talking about oranges and apples here. Your point that ‘… it’s as if there are entire communities of foreigners who hate the Spanish, but continue living in Spain anyway. You’re not an African refugee. You can go anywhere in the world you like. No one is forcing you to be here if you hate Spain or the Spanish people’, is quite an apt description of the situation in Gibraltar today.

  7. J. Roberts

    I can do better than that – I can provide three UN General Assembly Resolutions. To summarise for your benefit from my previous posts – under international law there are territorial limitations to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves where a pre-colonial claim of sovereignty exists. This is the case with Gibraltar which is listed by the UN as a territory that needs to be decolonised by the UK.

    A coloniser cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the colonised territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

    According to UN Resolution 1514 (XV) (1960), the principle of integrity complements and constrains the right to self-determination. That resolution specifically states that “any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” Any attempt by the colony of Gibraltar to establish itself as an independent nation would disrupt the national unity and the territorial integrity of Spain. This is because the UK colonised Gibraltar while it was an integral part of Spain.

    During the 1960s, the UN General Assembly passed two resolutions on the issue (2231 (XXI), “Question of Gibraltar”[19] and 2353 (XXII), “Question of Gibraltar”[20]). The latter resolution states also specifically states that “any colonial situation which partially or completely destroys the national unity and territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and especially with paragraph 6 of Resolution 1514 (XV) of the General Assembly” and “invites the Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to resume without delay the negotiations provided for in General Assembly Resolutions 2070 (XX) and 2231 (XXI), with a view to putting an end to the colonial situation in Gibraltar”.

    Furthermore when the colonists of Gibraltar conducted a referendum in 1967 declaring their wish to remain British, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2353 (XXII), questioning the validity of the referendum by noting that the referendum was contrary to the various resolutions which it had previously adopted. Thereby confirming once again that the right to self-determination is limited in the case of the current occupants of Gibraltar by the principle of territorial integrity.

    The International Court of Justice has also ruled on the limits of the right to self-determination in cases analogous to that of the colony of Gibraltar. For example, in the Western Sahara case the ICJ found that some pre-existing legal ties of a third state to the territory colonized by some other state could in principle affect the decolonization of the territory (see para. 162 in particular).

    If you’re interested in finding the truth on this issue you should stop looking at completely compromised web-sites that spout what is clearly propaganda and instead look at some real international law authorities. In this regard, you might like to have a look at the following reference by an eminent British international lawyer, and Cambridge University Professor, as just one authority which nicely sets out the relevant international law principles: James Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979) at 377-85.

  8. 300 years after the treaty which ceded Gibraltar to Great Britain, (in exchange for Minorca), is just too long for any modern resolutions, UN or any other organisation, to have any meaningful force. A good subject for countless jollies at the expense of taxpayers but otherwise useless. It can never be enforced unless Spain rolls out the tanks, in which case a modern European war will ensue.
    The best idea is for Spain to demolish border controls and let a natural cultural exchange weaken animosities, which one day might lead to unification in a Europe free of nationalistic nonsense.

  9. You can do better FurtherBeyond? I don’t think so. All I can see is a miserable failure to back up your assertions and lots of evidence of you making things up as you go along.

    The UK has never implant anyone into Spanish territory. Gibraltar was ceded to the UK by treaty so whoever the UK did or did not “implant” there is a matter for the UK and Gibraltar and has nothing whatsoever to do with Spain.
    Furthermore if your assertion is to stand then you need to show that the UN has classified the Gibraltarians as “implated” (with a definition of implated) and a resolution which clearly states that Gibraltar as rightfully Spanish territory.

    Resolution 1514 applies to Trust and Non Self Governing Territories; the wording in the Resolution is crystal clear. A Trust or Non Self Governing Territory is a specific and well defined status under international law. Spain is NOT a Trust or Non Self Governing Territory, so Resolution 1514 does NOT apply to Spain. Territorial integrity is protected for territories undergoing decolonisation, but only during that process. Once that process has completed whatever happens inside that territory is up to the people there to sort out amongst themselves, in other words self determination trumps territorial integrity, as South Sudan very clearly demonstrates.

    Gibraltar is perfectly entitled, under international law, to establish itself as an independent nation. There are absolutely no limits to this. Gibraltar is not Spanish territory so how Gibraltar’s independence could disrupt Spanish national unity is a big mystery?

    You quote resolution 2353, but where exactly does 2353 state that Gibraltar is disrupting Spanish territorial integrity, or that Gibraltar should rightfully be Spanish territory? Resolution 2353 does nothing more than call for renewed negotiations between Spain and the UK over their dispute as the dispute is stalling the decolonisation of Gibraltar. Nowhere does that Resolution 2353 state that the rights of the Gibraltarians have been limited. In fact it references Resolution 1514, where the rights of the peoples of NSGTs are made clear, including the right to self determination. Resolutions 2070 and 2231 both call for the resumption of negotiations to end this sovereignty dispute, and nothing more.

    Resolution 2353 does not question the validity of the 1967 referendum. It simply says that the referendum contravened the provisions of Resolution 2231, in other words it was a “hindrance” to negotiations leading to the decolonisation of Gibraltar. Nowhere in any UN resolution is the outcome of Gibraltarian decolonisation a transfer of sovereignty to Spain. Nowhere.

    The ICJ was specifically asked to give an opinion on whether Western Sahara had been terra nullis before Spanish colonisation and if not terra nullis, then whether legal ties to Morocco and Mauritania had existed before then. The ICJ simply answered the questions. The ICJ opinion had absolutely no effect on the right of the Sahrawis to self determination. In fact, the ICJ made this clear in the opinion itself, which demonstrates that you have not bothered to read the opinion yourself and if you have, your selective amnesia is more of a problem than I originally thought! I quote: “The court… concludes that the decolonization process envisaged by the General Assembly is one which will respect the right of the population of Western Sahara to determine their future political status by their own freely expressed will. This right to self-determination, which is not affected by the request for advisory opinion and constitutes a basic assumption of the questions put to the Court”

    It’s here, in black and white, you can’t hide from the facts:
    “http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?sum=323&code=sa&p1=3&p2=4&case=61&k=69&p3=5”

    If you think finding the “truth” can be done by relying on the opinion of a single, apparently eminent, author then you definitely need help.

    I prefer to rely on primary sources in the first instance, and opinions in the second:

    “http://www.un.org/”
    “http://www.icj-cij.org”

  10. Angling For Change!

    The Gibraltar Government has announced that work on regulations to control fishing and other marine leisure activities is at an advanced stage. The Gibraltar Federation of Sea Anglers are said to be very pleased that these regulations are nearly ready to be put in place. After two years of working on their campaign “Angling For Change” the GFSA say that the government are very close to meeting their aims. An interim report shows that Gibraltar’s marine environment is under threat by over fishing and that Gibraltar must stand firm to protect it. The GFSA also state that the government should stand firm against threats made and aggression shown by the Spanish government. They have recommended that a legislative framework be put in place to dispel and disprove all the accusations made by Spain that Gibraltar was using environmental excuses to prevent Spanish fishing in Gibraltar territorial waters. They also urge the British government to take decisive action and to openly show support for Gibraltar in this latest conflict.
    Source: “http://www.gibbook.com/magazine/read/gibraltar-news-14th-september-2012_258.html”

HAVE YOUR SAY...