LAWPUBL 462 - Law of the Sea

Credit points: 15 points
Offered: Semester One
Contact hours: 3 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Dr Vincent Cogliati-Bantz
Prerequisite: LAW 211

Course description

The oceans cover more than 70% of the planet; they have historically been vital as a source of food, natural resources, biological diversity, navigation and trade, a medium for discovery and conquest, a guarantee for military manoeuvrability, and a prime factor in environmental balance. Understandably, they are also a source of conflict and the victim of overexploitation and pollution. This course introduces students to the rules regulating the principal public uses of the oceans; it introduces, and builds upon, the achievements of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (which has been described as a “constitution for the oceans”). The course aims to give students an understanding of the main principles governing uses of the oceans, in their historical, international and regional perspectives. It will be an advantage to those students who wish to pursue studies at a level that will enable them to practice, advise, regulate, research, write or lecture on the law of the sea, oceans policy and maritime affairs.

Content outline

Core content of the course includes: a history of the development of the law of the sea; the sources of the contemporary law of the sea, leading to the adoption of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; and the legal regime of various maritime zones (territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, high seas etc). Particular issues such as the settlement of disputes, maritime delimitation, maritime security, fisheries and bioprospecting are also addressed.


2250 word assignment (30%)

2 hour open book exam (70%)

Open book means that you may, if you wish, bring into the exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.

Recommended text

Details on reading materials and recommended texts will be made available before the start of the course.