Along with two other lawyers, Weiland represented two countries before the International Tribunal for The Law of the Seas. The tribunal was created by a nearly two-decades-old international treaty, which the United States has not joined.
The trial, which wrapped up Oct. 12, was held in the port city of Hamburg, Germany. Weiland, Patton Boggs Dallas of counsel Robert Hawkins, and Weiland’s brother in Houston, William Weiland, represented Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, two countries in the southern end of the Caribbean, in a dispute over alleged ship seizures. For hearings in Hamburg, judges appointed by the treaty member countries come from all over the world.
The judges typically wear the judicial regalia of the native lands, Weiland says. The proceedings take place in French and English, and the court follows “a mix of civil jurisprudence rules from France and the Anglo-Saxon world,” he says.
Not all 21 judges ask questions at once. Instead, they send inquiries for the disputing parties to a court leader, known as the president, he says.
Under the tribunal’s rules, evidence must be submitted six months before trial. “Not something most litigators are used to,” says Weiland.
He says this spring would be the earliest he would expect a decision.
--- Miriam Rozen