International Law of the Sea
Run by School of History, Law and Social Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Overall aims and purpose
This module is an introduction to 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 (UNCLOS), which has been described as a 'constitution for the oceans'. UNCLOS sets out various maritime zones, in which States have varying levels of sovereign rights or jurisdiction, and at the conclusion of the module students will be able to distinguish between these.
Students will also be introduced to contemporary marine regulatory issues, such as piracy, the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction by sea, whaling, marine pollution and climate change, and the salvage of historic wrecks like the RMS Titanic.
The International Law of the Sea module begins with a discussion each maritime zone as set out by UNCLOS (e.g. territorial sea, exclusive economic zone), before moving on to the substantive part of the module, examining contemporary, regulatory issues such as:
• Whaling • Environmental disasters and the protection of the marine environment • Underwater cultural heritage and the salvage of historic shipwrecks • Fisheries and illegal fishing practices • Climate change • Piracy • Proliferation of WMDs and arms at sea • Marine scientific research
D- to D+ (40-49%) An answer which, while predominantly correct in its presentation of material, contains a significant level of error and is therefore not entirely reliable.
Good: B- to B+ (60-69%) High Standard: A comprehensive answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in an argument which, while clear, logical and critical, leaves room for improvement in its construction and presentation. An answer which shows complete competence in the subject.
Excellent: A- to A* (70+%) An outstanding answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in a clear, logical, critical argument with little room for improvement. An answer which demonstrates a complete mastery of the subject.
C- to C+
C- to C+ (50-59%) An answer which, while always in the main accurate and correct, fails to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant material and is lacking in criticism. An answer which while reliable with regard to correctness is either not comprehensive or not entirely pertinent.
Describe, analyse and comment on the different maritime zones and understand the relationship between emerging regulatory issues and these zones.
Demonstrate awareness of key marine regulatory issues, including wider contextual issues and their relationship to other areas of law, e.g. environmental law or human rights law.
Effectively communicate relevant information on the international law of the sea in formative and summative assessments.
Undertake independent legal research in relation to the law of the sea and emerging regulatory issues.
Find, identify, use and evaluate sources of relevant legal accounts in relation to the law of the sea.
In a 48-hour take home exam, students must practically apply legal principles to two problem scenarios (word limit: 2,000 words). This is submitted via turnitin.
In this assignment, students step into the role of an advisor to a government or non-governmental organisation, where they are called upon to give advice on a contemporary or emerging law of the sea issue. Students write a brief 1,500 word policy paper in response.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
2x 2-hour lectures per week. 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 actively contribute to class discussions and participate in practical activities. Further reading will be recommended after each class 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 will use private study time to prepare for classes and work on formative and summative assessments.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- 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.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
Subject specific skills
- Develop the ability to interpret legal rules and employ techniques of legal reasoning competently and efficiently in order to offer a range of solutions and conclusions to actual or hypothetical complex legal problems, all supported by relevant academic literature, jurisprudence and legislative research. Such solutions will be clearly communicated and presented
- Develop the ability to analyse complex legal issues, set against the background of the political, social, economic or cultural contexts in which they may arise
- Develop those skills which are necessary for scholarship and research in legal subjects, namely the ability to identify relevant primary and secondary legal sources and to retrieve accurate legal information using paper and electronic sources
Resource implications for students
Students are expected to have a copy of the key text.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/sxl-2142.html
The key text for this module is Y. Tanaka, The International Law of the Sea (3rd edn, Cambridge University Press). Readings for each class will be provided in the syllabus.
Courses including this module
Optional in courses:
- M100: LLB Law year 2 (LLB/L)
- M11B: LLB Law (4 year with Incorporated Foundation) year 2 (LLB/L1)
- M10P: LLB Law with Placement Year year 2 (LLB/LP)