Contemporary Issues in the Law of the Sea

Short Description/Aims

The course aims to analyse a wide range of contemporary issues in the law of the sea with a view to exploring challenges to the public order of the oceans. The objective of the course is to give an overview of the various controversial issues faced by the international community in developing the public order of the oceans.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, participants will be able to: 

  • Show a clear understanding of the basic structure of the law of the sea
  • Understand and discuss most pressing issues in the law of the sea
  • Develop ocean policies by applying knowledge gained in the course to specific circumstances
  • Appreciate legal issues in international negotiations relating to maritime affairs

Course Outline

  • Introduction to the law of the sea
  • Dispute settlement
  • Extended continental shelf
  • Maritime boundary delimitation negotiations (Workshop)
  • Deep seabed mining
  • Fisheries governance
  • Biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction
  • High seas resource governance (Workshop)
  • Climate change
  • Arctic
  • Piracy and other maritime security issues
  • Future of the public order of the oceans (Workshop)

Teaching & Learning Methods

  • lecture modules
  • group sessions
  • discussions

Who should attend

Anyone interested in the law of the sea, maritime law and policy and ocean affairs; in particular, government officials, lawyers, NGO staff, academics and journalists working in these or related fields

Additional Information

Syllabus Content • History and sources of the law of the sea • Maritime zones under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) • Part XV of UNCLOS • Recent developments in dispute settlement in the law of the sea • Article 76 of UNCLOS relating to the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles • Work of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf • Workshop on negotiations for maritime boundary delimitation • Part XI of UNCLOS and 1994 Implementation Agreement • Work of the International Seabed Authority • Global and regional fisheries management mechanisms • Protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems from destructive fishing practices • Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing • Legal issues relating to the conservation of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) • Contemporary global debate over issues relating to the conservation of marine biodiversity in ABNJ • Workshop on the governance of natural resources located in the high seas • Impacts of climate change on the international legal framework for the oceans (fisheries, CO2 sequestration and marine geo-engineering, sea-level rise etc.) • Impacts of melting sea ice on the governance of the Arctic • Work of the Arctic Council and its role in the development of international law relating to the Arctic • Piracy and armed robbery • Other international maritime crimes • Workshop on the future direction of the public order of the oceans

Course length

3 days

EC Credit

1.5 EC

Mode of Delivery

Customized