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Course Description

This course explores current issues implicating the Law of the Sea (and in particular the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea and related treaties). It explores the interaction of an international legal regime with the challenges posed by geography, climate change, history, military rivalry, trade and politics, and in turn how an international legal regime can itself influence the course of national conduct, whether through negotiation, adjudication or “lawfare”. We will explore the ongoing tension between freedom of the seas and sovereign rights and regulation, in contexts ranging from current political-military rivalries and criminal conduct at sea to the exploitation and management of marine resources and preservation of the ocean environment. We will also discuss how the ambivalent attitudes of leading military and commercial powers affect the rule of law in the oceanic context. The course uses current challenges in the South China Sea and the Arctic as a vehicle for consideration of certain of these topics.

Affiliated With:

  • Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy