18 October, 2018

Course introduction 3

Law of the Sea and Landlocked States

The law of offshore activities relates primarily to the maritime law and the law of the sea. Maritime law is the law of matters, activities and events related to the sea. Specifically, it deals with matters relating to sailors, ships and other seagoing vessels, the charter parties and ocean contracts, armament and maritime sales, maritime security, maritime incidents and marine insurance.

The law of the sea itself relates to the right to the maritime space, it defines the contours of that space as well as the rights and obligations of all countries within that space, including those relating to environmental protection and public order at sea. It is essential for the development of offshore activities such as the exploitation of resources or the installation of offshore structures.

Around the end of the year 1950 and the creation of the UN, a global system created to deal with conflicts, specialized agencies concerned with the uses of the sea (International Maritime Organization (IMO); Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)) were also developed. The law of the sea attempts to fulfill a role: the regulation and prevention of crises, wars and maritime conflicts between countries for the control over marine areas. These areas begin with the coast in the broad sense (internal waters, territorial sea, often with a width of 22 km) They then cover the waters referred to as “under the jurisdiction” of a nation (contiguous zone; fishing zone; ecological protection zone or exclusive economic zone, referred to as EEZ, whose width towards the sea does not exceed 370 KM), and finally they reach the high seas that begins at a highly variable minimum distance from the coasts depending on whether the countries do possess, or not,some zones beyond their territorial sea, (however these zones shall not exceed 370 KM.)  In the absence of generalization[sp.] of the EEZ by the Mediterranean countries… aforementioned. Some of the international interstate disputes involve the law of the sea. Rules of action for the spaces and resources of the sea have proliferated and have been recognized and applied by a growing number of states, international institutions and jurisdictions. For developing countries (DC) or states. The law uses the term “state” for the institutions… in the developing world, a concept relied on by the legal expert,[For developing countries (DC) or states (the law uses the term “state” for the institutions … in the developing world, a concept defined by the legal expert, the jurisdiction on the areas bathing their shores has clearly been significant, making the law of the sea a strategic law for vulnerable countries. While developing countries have shared to some degree in formulating the law of the sea their their participation has been limited and the rules of the law of the sea takes this into consideration through proposed solutions. However this law, caught up in the spiral of universalisation, the balance of power, technical capacity and environmental emergencies, also blurs the particularities of developing countries and their importance in favour of other more regional and sectoral interstate groupings around themes relating to the environment or fishing. There has been some effort to re-categorize “developing states” as “maritime states” and focus more attention on conservation, valorization and the sharing the wealth generated by the biological or mineral resources of the sea, rather than with older developmentalist references.

Landlocked developing countries (LDC) are widely spread across the globe. Fifteen of them are in Africa, five in Asia, seven in Central Asia, two in Latin America and two in Central and Eastern Europe. However as a group they share a common denominator: they are deprived from direct access to major shipping routes and thus are often among the poorest of developing countries; some of them are among the least developed countries (LDC.)


This course is dedicated to the law of the sea which regulates the activities of States and their interactions regarding maritime matters.
This course will start off by briefly highlighting the main landmarks that shaped the history of the law of the sea and will then focus on the contemporary legal regime governing maritime areas which consists in great part of the 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS). Studying the UNCLOS will allow us to pay close attention to the rules governing the different jurisdictional zones of the ocean, the navigation of ships, the exploitation of living and non-living resources and maritime boundary delimitation.
This course will also cover the status of land-locked and geographically disadvantaged states and will touch upon the role of the Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).
This course will also apportion time to discussing dispute settlement: in doing so, this course will analyze landmark, recent and ongoing disputes pertaining to the law of the sea as a means to identify contemporary legal challenges and as an opportunity look at a specific set of legal issues in greater depth.
This course will not cover ‘maritime’ law which focuses on the relations between entities and individuals regarding maritime transport, insurance, and liability. This course will also limit itself to covering the law of the sea applicable in time of peace.

Students will acquire a working knowledge of prevalent legal concepts under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Students will research the theoretical underpinnings of such concepts.
Students will be able to analyze fact patterns and formulate preliminary assessments regarding the law of the sea. Students will also better seize the dynamics of dispute settlement. As a result, students will be able to strategically assess the practical implications of the law of the sea.
Generally, students will become attuned to the tensions between state sovereignty and international cooperation at play within maritime areas.


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