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Spring 2024 Course

International Law of the Sea

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

This course explores the international law of the sea, a body of public international law that governs the rights and duties of states in their use of the oceans and seas. The law of the sea is a prominent feature of international politics, evident in disputes ranging from the South China Sea to the Arctic Ocean and the Black Sea, as well as international environmental law, biodiversity, and climate change.

This course presents the institutional structure, doctrines, and norms that govern activities in the oceans, seas, coastal areas, and ports, including: contending rights and jurisdiction; maritime zones; marine living resources and fisheries; offshore energy and deep seabed mining; submarine cables; international trade, shipping and navigation; maritime law enforcement and human rights; marine environmental protection; marine scientific research and marine technology; naval operations and conflict at sea; marine biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable development; maritime boundary delimitation; and international arbitration, litigation, and dispute resolution. Along the way we encounter foundational concepts of international law, such as state sovereignty.