LAWPUBL 462 - Law of the Sea

Credit points: 15 points
Offered: Summer School
Contact hours: 6 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 that regulate the principal public uses of the oceans 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, protection of the marine environment, maritime security and fisheries management are also addressed.


Multiple-choice quiz (10%)

1000 word short-answers assignment (20%)

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

Course book

A course book will be available before the beginning of the course

Law of the Sea Convention

The lectures will constantly refer to the Law of the Sea Convention. Students are therefore advised to print a copy of the Convention and bring it to each class. The Convention is available here: