Marine Stewardship Council appoints three new Independent Adjudicators

February 10, 2010 10:31

In line with the rapid growth of fisheries entering its seafood ecolabel and certification programme, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has increased the number of Independent Adjudicators that are available to review and resolve contested certifier decisions.

As set out by the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, an impartial objections procedure is an integral and important part of a credible, third party certification system and the MSC fishery assessment process provides for a fair and transparent review of contested certifier decisions that is independent of the certifier, objector, and the MSC. 

The role of an Independent Adjudicator is to ensure specific concerns on a fishery certification meet the expected Principles and Criteria of the MSC standard for a well managed and sustainable fishery. As such, significant and specialist legal background and qualifications are necessary to assess an objection and identify arbitrariness, or other serious irregularities in the assessment process that made a material difference to the outcome and fairness of the assessment.
Will Martin, Chair of the MSC Board of Directors comments: "I am very impressed with the calibre of the candidates and honoured to welcome the three new Independent Adjudicators on behalf of the Board of Directors. Their qualifications, experience and credibility will no doubt add to and help maintain the credibility of the MSC programme."
Background

The first Independent Adjudicator, Michael Lodge was appointed in 2006, since then the number of MSC certified fisheries and those engaged in the MSC programme have tripled and similar growth is expected into future. In addition to serving to maintain the credibility of the MSC programme as it grows, the new appointments have further permitted a wider and more equal geographical distribution of Independent Adjudicators, which is expected to reduce response time and travel cost.
Introducing the new Independent Adjudicators

Melanie Carter is a UK based lawyer with over 25 years experience working as a lawyer in public and administrative law. She has extensive tribunal and significant experience in dispute adjudication in non-court arenas. Melanie Carter is well known for her work with external auditors to public authorities in the handling of their objections processes. In her international work Melanie has advised governments and the United Nations.  In 1997, she joined Bates, Wells & Braithwaite LLP, a firm of solicitors known for their charity and public law practice.
Eldon Greenberg is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer.  A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Mr Greenberg was deputy general counsel of the Agency for International Development and general counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration during the Carter Administration.  He specializes in environmental and natural resources issues, including fishery management, marine mammal and endangered species.  He also teaches international negotiation as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
Wylie Spicer is a Canadian barrister and solicitor with 35 years of experience focusing on maritime law, public inquiries in maritime and human rights questions and complex litigation. He is recognized as one of Canada's most knowledgeable lawyers in maritime matters including issues related to the development of the offshore oil and gas business and the development of the waters of the Arctic Ocean. Mr Spicer is a member of the Canadian Bar Association's National Council, managing partner of McInnes Cooper and a professor in maritime Law at Dalhousie University. He also has an extensive list of publications on private international law including maritime law.

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