The Legal and Technical Commission

The Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) is an organ of the Council of the International Seabed Authority and currently consists of 30 members (as at 1 January 2017) who are elected by the Council for a period of 5 years on the basis of personal qualifications relevant to the exploration, exploitation and processing of mineral resources, oceanography, economic and/or legal matters relating to ocean mining and related fields.

The Commission is entrusted with various functions relating to activities in the deep seabed area including the review of applications for plans of work, supervision of exploration or mining activities, assessment of the environmental impact of such activities and provide advice to the International Seabed Authority’s Assembly and Council on all matters relating to exploration and exploitation of non-living marine resources (such as polymetallic [manganese] nodules, polymetallic sulphides and cobalt crusts).

The Commission has, since its inception developed the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules in the Area and the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Sulphides and Cobalt-Rich Ferromanganese Crusts in the Area.

Meetings of the LTC usually precede the annual sessions of the Authority and tables its report to the Council during the session.  In 2013, the LTC commenced holding two sessions per year with its first two-week session held in February and its second session in the week immediately prior to the Authority's annual sessions.     

During the 22nd session of the Authority in July 2016, the following candidates were elected members of the Legal and Technical Commission for the period 2017 to 2021: 

Adolfo Maestro GONZÁLEZ, Spain
Alonso Martínez RUIZ (Mexico)
Andrés Sebastián ROJAS, Argentina
Carlos Roberto LEITE, Brazil
Christian Juergen REICHERT, Germany (Chair, 2017)
Dorca Auma ACHAPA, Kenya
Elie JARMACHE, France
Gastón Fernández MONTERO (Chile)
Georgy A. CHERKASHEV, Russian Federation
Gordon Lindsay John PATERSON, United Kingdom
Harald BREKKE, Norway
Joshua T. TUHUMWIRE, Uganda
Jun WU, China
Khalid Mehmood AWAN, Pakistan
Mahmoud SAMY, Egypt
Malcolm CLARK, New Zealand
Mario Juan A. AURELIO, Philippines
Mark B. ALCOCK, Australia
Michelle WALKER, Jamaica  (Vice-Chair, 2017)
Milind P. WAKDIKAR, India
Nobuyuki OKAMOTO, Japan
Pedro MADUREIRA, Portugal
Piotr NOWAK (Poland)
Rena LEE, Singapore
Russell HOWORTH, Fiji
Se-Jong JU, Republic of Korea
Siosiua UTOIKAMANU, Tonga
Thembile Elphus, JOYINI    South Africa
Théophile Ndougsa MBARGA, Cameroon
Winifred M. BROADBELT, Netherlands

Procedures for election to the Legal and Technical Commission

On 18 July 2007, the Council of the International Seabed Authority adopted a decision on the future size and composition of the Legal and Technical Commission and the process for future elections (ISBA/13/C/6). The decision was made as the Council agreed that there was a need to streamline the procedures for future elections in order to avoid the difficulties that had arisen in connection with past elections to the Commission. The procedures were applied for the first time during the election that took place during the seventeenth session in 2011.

Operational Rules of Procedure of the LTC

Legal and Technical Commission Membership (1997-2016)