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LS553P: OCEANS LAW (2020-2021)

Last modified: 18 Aug 2020 11:25


Course Overview

The oceans are widely considered to be Earth's final frontier. Oceans are 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. In the development of humanity, the oceans and seas have always played a significant role, not only as a means of communication and trade, but also as a most important source for satisfying nutritional needs. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, in view of an ever-increasing world population, 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’ oceans and seas continues to be - perhaps now more than even - one of the greatest challenges for states and the international community as a whole.

 

The current legal framework for the oceans is largely codified in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (UNCLOS) as an inseparable part of public international law. 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. UNCLOS divides the oceans into several jurisdictional zones, namely internal waters, territorial sea, archipelagic waters, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the continental shelf, the high seas and the Area. In all these zones, the legal regime seeks to maintain a careful balance in reconciling the interests between individual states on one hand, and the protection of community interests on the other. Structured around this dual balancing objective, this course is designed to present students with the core elements of modern ocean law with a particular focus on the exploitation of marine natural resources, both living and non-living, marine environmental protection and international dispute settlement in the law of the sea.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Constantinos Yiallourides

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

  • Any Postgraduate Programme

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Running from January to May, this course is intended to introduce students to the law that governs the two thirds of planet Earth: the oceans. The course is designed to provide students with a working hands-on knowledge of the relevant legal and regulatory framework, enhance and broaden their understanding on a wide spectrum of law of the sea topics such as deep-sea mining, conservation of marine living resources, and climate change in relation to oceans law. By the end of this course students will develop a solid grounding in the international legal framework governing of the world’s oceans, the main sources of the law of the sea, including treaties and custom and how these elements are put to the test in very different contexts, from protecting the marine environment, to regulating seabed activities and international dispute settlement.

 

The oceans are widely considered to be Earth's final frontier. Oceans are 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. In the development of humanity, the oceans and seas have always played a significant role, not only as a means of communication and trade, but also as a most important source for satisfying nutritional needs. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, in view of an ever-increasing world population, 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’ oceans and seas continues to be - perhaps now more than even - one of the greatest challenges for states and the international community as a whole.

 

The current legal framework for the oceans is largely codified in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (UNCLOS) as an inseparable part of public international law. This framework 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. UNCLOS divides the oceans into several jurisdictional zones, namely internal waters, territorial sea, archipelagic waters, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the continental shelf, the high seas and the Area. In all these zones the legal regime seeks to maintain a careful balance in reconciling the interests between individual states on one hand, and the protection of community interests on the other. Structured around this dual balancing objective, this course is designed to present students with the core elements of modern ocean law with a particular focus on the exploitation of marine natural resources, both living and non-living.

 

Students completing this course, will:

 

  1. Obtain a solid grounding in the international legal and regulatory framework governing the world’s oceans and seas, the main sources of the law of the sea, including treaties and custom and how these elements are put to the test in very different 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 ocean law 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 and whales, and relevant theoretical and practical approaches, including with respect to the governance of global commons.
  4. Be able to demonstrate independent and expert judgment as a practitioner and learner in the area of international ocean law.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for courses may be subject to change. All updates for first-half session courses will be actioned no later than 1700 (GMT) on 18 September 2020. All updates for second half-session courses will be actioned in advance of second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 65
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Feedback

A practical-based, problem-solving, 2500-word essay (65% of the overall course assessment). See below for instructions and guidance. 

 

Further details on assessment and feedback are provided in the course guide.

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

Multiple-choice test and essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 35
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Feedback

A timed, multiple-choice test (22 questions worth 1 point each) and a 1000-word essay (in the form of a current development legal commentary) to be undertaken via MyAberdeen. (35% of the of the overall course assessment).

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

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Exam

Assessment Type Summative Weighting
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Feedback
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
ReflectionAnalyseDevelop an understanding of the relevant concepts and rules of international oceans law. An ability to deconstruct and analyse factual situations using the general principles, rules and procedures
FactualUnderstandStudents will develop a solid grounding in the international legal framework governing the world’s oceans and seas, the main sources of the law of the sea
ConceptualEvaluateDevelop reasoning, research and communication skills to investigate, evaluate, synthesise, and evaluate different relevant concepts

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