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LS403D: INTERNATIONAL LAW OF THE SEA (2023-2024)

Last modified: 05 Oct 2023 08:46


Course Overview

The ocean by providing oxygen, freshwater, and food, is crucial for sustaining life, yet is under increasing pressure from human activities: including climate change, overfishing, and pollution. This course focuses on the international legal framework for the ocean based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other legal instruments including climate, biodiversity and human rights.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 25 credits (12.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Mitchell Lennan

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Law (LS)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

The ocean is vital for maintaining life on Earth, their natural resources are increasingly important to the global economy and about 90 per cent of all international trade is carried out by sea. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, a growing necessity has arisen to exploit marine natural resources, whether living (such as fisheries) or non-living (such as hydrocarbons and deep-sea minerals). Creating an effective governance and regulatory regime for the worlds’ ocean continues to be- one of the greatest challenges for States and the international community as a whole. However, pressures from human activities continue to degrade the ocean, including important habitats, such as mangroves, coral reefs, and the deep sea. Pressures from climate change, overfishing, pollution and poorly managed resource extraction are of particular concern.

The current legal framework for the oceans is largely codified in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (UNCLOS). This Convention has often been called the ‘Constitution for the Oceans' and is based on the fundamental premise that all the problems of the oceans are inextricably intertwined and need to be considered as a whole. This course places special focus on UNCLOS, its two implementing agreements, and other associated global, regional and sectoral legal instruments and frameworks. Including, for example, international climate law, biodiversity law and human rights. This course is designed to present students with the core elements of modern ocean law and governance with a particular focus on the exploitation of marine natural resources, both living and non-living, marine environmental protection international dispute settlement in the law of the sea, and the interaction between UNCLOS and other legal frameworks.

Running from September to December, this course seeks to introduce students to the International Law of the Sea. The course is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks applicable to the ocean. The course will enhance and broaden their understanding of a wide range of law of the sea topics including the ocean and climate legal nexus, deep-sea mining, protection and preservation of the marine environment, and human rights in relation to the ocean. By the end of the course, students will have developed a grounding in ocean law, the main sources of the law of the sea, including treaties and custom, and how these elements are tested in various contexts.

Students completing this course will:

  1. Obtain a solid grounding in the international legal and regulatory framework governing the global ocean, the main sources of the law of the sea, including treaties and custom and how these elements are tested in various contexts, from protecting the environment, to regulating seabed activities and dispute settlement.
  2. Develop a deep practical understanding of the relevant concepts and rules of international law of the sea by assessing and analysing real-life examples and situations using the general principles, rules and procedures of international law and crafting legal arguments (written and oral) relevant to the subject matter at hand.
  3. Develop a sophisticated appreciation of historical and contemporary perspectives relating to the exploration, exploitation, management and preservation of marine resources, including fish stocks, marine mammals, seabed minerals and relevant theoretical and practical approaches, including with respect to the governance of global commons.
  4. Demonstrate independent and expert judgment as a practitioner and learner in the area of international law of the sea.
  5. Gain a deep understanding of integrated and inclusive ocean law and governance, and the interaction between ocean law and other legal frameworks, including human rights, climate change and biodiversity law.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers


Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 30 August 2024 for 1st half-session courses and 20 December 2024 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks 14 Feedback Weeks 17

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Written 1000-word assignment.

The feedback will be provided in written form and in accordance with the Common Grading Scale. The feedback will be provided within three weeks as of submission, in accordance with the School’s and University’s policies.

Word Count 1000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualEvaluateDevelop reasoning, research and communication skills to investigate, evaluate, synthesise, and evaluate different relevant concepts related to the law and governance of the ocean.
FactualUnderstandStudents will develop a solid grounding in the international legal framework governing the global ocean, the main sources of the law of the sea and other applicable international agreements.
ReflectionAnalyseUnderstand the relevant concepts and rules of International Law of the Sea and apply these to factual situations

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 70
Assessment Weeks 20 Feedback Weeks 24

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

The feedback will be provided in written form and in accordance with the Common Grading Scale. The feedback will be provided within three weeks as of submission, in accordance with the School’s and University’s policies.

Word Count 2500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualEvaluateDevelop reasoning, research and communication skills to investigate, evaluate, synthesise, and evaluate different relevant concepts related to the law and governance of the ocean.
FactualUnderstandStudents will develop a solid grounding in the international legal framework governing the global ocean, the main sources of the law of the sea and other applicable international agreements.
ReflectionAnalyseUnderstand the relevant concepts and rules of International Law of the Sea and apply these to factual situations

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Resit in the same format as the failed assessment.

The feedback will be provided in written form and in accordance with the Common Grading Scale. The feedback will be provided within three weeks as of submission, in accordance with the School’s and University’s policies.

Word Count 1000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 70
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Resit in the same format as the failed assessment.

The feedback will be provided in written form and in accordance with the Common Grading Scale. The feedback will be provided within three weeks as of submission, in accordance with the School’s and University’s policies.

Word Count 2500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionAnalyseUnderstand the relevant concepts and rules of International Law of the Sea and apply these to factual situations
FactualUnderstandStudents will develop a solid grounding in the international legal framework governing the global ocean, the main sources of the law of the sea and other applicable international agreements.
ConceptualEvaluateDevelop reasoning, research and communication skills to investigate, evaluate, synthesise, and evaluate different relevant concepts related to the law and governance of the ocean.

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