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Australia and Timor-Leste sign historic treaty establishing maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea

On 6 March 2018, Australia and Timor-Leste signed a treaty establishing their maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea. This historic treaty, concluded as the culmination of the first ever compulsory conciliation under Annex V of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), was part of a Comprehensive Package Agreement between the Parties of 30 August 2017 which also included an "action plan" for engagement leading to a decision on the development of the Greater Sunrise gas field. The signing of the Treaty, in the presence of the UN Secretary-General at UN Headquarters in New York, was marked by a press release by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, which acted as the secretariat for the UNCLOS Annex V Conciliation Commission, making public the 30 August 2017 Comprehensive Package Agreement, the Maritime Boundaries Treaty, and a Conciliation Commission paper on the comparative development options available for the Greater Sunrise field from Timor-LNG and Darwin-LNG concepts.

Members of 20 Essex Street advised and represented both Parties in this historic endeavour, Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC for Australia and Sir Michael Wood for Timor-Leste.

Further information on the conciliation process is available from the PCA website.