This course will examine the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS has been established as arguably the most comprehensive expression of multilateral treaty negotiation and practical application since it entered into force in 1994. The Convention is the definitive word on articulating the use by nation states of the world’s seas and oceans and the concomitant rights and responsibilities arising there from. The course will examine the historical perspective of the use of seas and oceans and the evolution of this body of international law. The course also address older regimes of the sea as well as the innovations that UNCLOS has ushered in, which include: the territorial sea, contiguous zone, and rights of innocent passage; archipelagic states; the exclusive economic zone; the continental shelf; access by landlocked sates to the resources of the sea; geographically disadvantaged states; protection of the environment; the high seas and the resources thereof for the common heritage of mankind; the international seabed authority; maritime delimitation and the dispute settlement arrangements through the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, among others. The course will also study the wealth of case law mapping the development of international law of the sea.
The course will adopt a practical approach to enhance skills in the drafting of treaties pursuant to UNCLOS, such as arrangements between coastal states and landlocked states for the sharing of EEZ resources. Students will be exposed to “mock” maritime boundary delimitations and guest lecturers/visiting professors will facilitate this simulation.