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Module SXL-4048:
Law of the Sea

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Overall aims and purpose

This module is focused on the international law of the sea, with particular focus on emerging regulatory problems at sea. Students will be introduced to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC), which essentially regulates most matters at sea and at the conclusion of the module they will be able to distinguish between the different maritime zones set out by LOSC and how each zone can differently affect how matters are dealt with.

Students will also be introduced to contemporary regulatory issues of the sea, such as whaling, piracy, proliferation of arms at sea, marine pollution and salvage of historic wrecks, and the regimes that are emerging to manage these.

The module forms the cornerstone for the LLM Law of the Sea programme.

Course content

The International Law of the Sea module will cover a myriad of contemporary uses of the sea and the legal problems that these bring to the international forum. The module also touches on aspects of maritime law, public international law, international criminal law and international environmental law.

The module commences with an introduction to the history and development of the law of the sea before moving on to focus on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (LOSC). The first part of the module looks at each maritime zone in detail as laid out by the LOSC 1982, evaluating in turn: internal waters and the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone, the continental shelf, the area, and the high seas; in addition to examining baselines, landlocked States and archipelagos.

Part two of the module focuses on contemporary regulatory issues: • Whaling • Environmental disasters and the protection of the marine environment • Underwater cultural heritage and the salvage of historic shipwrecks • Fisheries and fishing • Piracy • Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and arms at sea • Marine scientific research and the mining of resources • Settlement of marine disputes

The module will also bring in any current events related to the law of the sea, so students will be able to relate their learning to real situations.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Displays ability within a specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing appropriate skills to conduct research. Work at threshold quality demonstrates an adequate knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, some of which is informed by thinking at the forefront of the academic discipline. Work at this level shows a developing understanding of techniques applicable to the student’s own research. It shows an ability to apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced by the work indicates that the student can evaluate scholarship in the field.

good

Displays accomplished ability within a specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing good quality skills to conduct research. Good work in this module will demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, much of which is at, or informed by thinking at, the forefront of the academic discipline. Work at this level shows a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to the student’s own research. It shows an ability to apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced in the work indicates that the student can evaluate advanced scholarship in the discipline. The work shows an ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where, appropriate, propose hypotheses.

excellent

Displays mastery of a complex and specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing advanced skills to conduct research. Excellent work in this module will contain the qualities recognized in good work, but will show them in a more consistent way, and at all points. It will demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, much of which is at the forefront of this academic discipline. Work at this level shows a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to the student’s own research or to advanced scholarship. It shows throughout an ability to apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced in the work indicates that the student can critically evaluate advanced scholarship in the discipline, and do so in a consistent manner. The work shows an ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where, appropriate, propose hypotheses.

Learning outcomes

  1. Accurately describe, critically analyse, comment on and evaluate the different maritime zones. Be able to determine how each zone impacts upon different regulatory issues.

  2. Accurately describe, critically analyse, comment on, and evaluate contemporary regulatory issues in relation to the law of the sea.

  3. Find, identify, use and evaluate sources of relevant legal accounts in relation to the law of the sea.

  4. Be aware of wider contextual issues in relation to the operation of the law of the sea, including maritime law, public international law, international criminal law and international environmental law.

  5. Develop and employ enhanced research skills by using traditional library sources involving books, journals and case reports, modern electronic facilities such as online databases and internet resources and multimedia.

  6. Present reasoned legal argument in relation to the law of the sea and emerging regulatory issues.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Individual Presentation 25
Written assignment 75

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 160
Seminar

The module will be taught via 20 x 2 hourly seminars. For the seminars, students will be expected to have prepared essential reading together with such written and other work as shall be required. Students will be required to discuss the reading matter, make their own presentations (non-assessed) and discuss those of other students, together with arguments and questions from the seminar leader. Further reading will be recommended after each seminar to progress and further the students’ knowledge and skills. Other forms of teaching exercises, such as team preparations, may be used from time to time.

Students on this module will be taught with the Level 6 module, however they will be differently and much more stringently assessed.

40

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Students will acquire knowledge and a sophisticated understanding of principles of the law of the sea, advanced level theories and explore the many traditional and contemporary challenges in the law of the sea. They will receive a balanced education in the relevant law, theory, politics and practice.
  • Students will acquire knowledge and critical and conceptual understanding of Maritime Law principles, and how the industry operates. Students will acquire critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, informed by the latest literature, international legislation, international conventions, EU Law, and academic literature and international case law.
  • Students will develop to become critical thinkers able to respond to the intellectual and professional challenges facing contemporary international lawyers.

Resources

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: