Module SXL-3142:
International Law of the Sea

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Hayley Roberts

Overall aims and purpose

This module is intended as an introduction to the law of the sea, and so the course content 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 emerging regulatory issues at sea, such as whaling, marine pollution and salvage of historic wrecks and the regimes that are emerging to manage these.

Course content

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

The module commences with a brief introduction, and 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 LOSC, before moving on to examine regulatory issues in part two, 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 • Piracy • Proliferation of WMDs and arms at sea • Marine scientific research and the mining of resources • Settlement of disputes

Assessment Criteria

excellent

A*:- A truly exceptional answer, which demonstrates complete mastery of the subject matter and also makes a substantial original contribution of a high standard which advances the understanding of the subject. The answer contains all relevant points and arguments, complete with fully supported independent and mature evaluation of the topic, with no errors or irrelevant content. Where relevant, the answer will also evidence an excellent comparative evaluation of the issues concerned. All the material and references (where applicable) are perfectly presented in the answer, and the answer is perfectly constructed and grammatically perfect in English/Welsh. In the case of a dissertation or assignment, the answer would be suitable for publication in a refereed journal.

A+:- An exceptional answer, demonstrating complete mastery of the subject matter with no room for improvement whatsoever. The answer contains all relevant points and arguments, complete with fully supported independent and mature evaluation of the topic, with no errors or irrelevant content. Where relevant, the answer will also evidence an excellent comparative evaluation of the issues concerned. All the material and references (where applicable) are perfectly presented in the answer, and the answer is perfectly constructed and grammatically perfect in English/Welsh.

A:- An outstanding answer, demonstrating mastery of the subject matter with extremely little room for improvement. The answer contains all relevant points and arguments, complete with fully supported independent and mature evaluation of the topic, with practically no errors or irrelevant content. Where relevant, the answer will also evidence an in-depth comparative evaluation of the issues concerned. All the material and references (where applicable) are presented in near perfect form in the answer, and the answer is extremely well constructed and grammatically excellent in English/Welsh.

threshold

C:- 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.

D:- An answer which, while predominantly correct in its presentation of material, contains a significant level of error and is therefore not entirely reliable.

E, F:- An answer in which the level of error is such that the answer becomes substantially unreliable as a presentation of the subject, there remaining, however, a significant amount of correct material.

F1-F3:- A completely unreliable answer in which the amount of correct material, if any, is insignificant compared to the predominance of error.

good

A-:- An outstanding answer, demonstrating mastery of the subject matter with very little room for improvement . The answer contains all relevant points and arguments, complete with fully supported independent and mature evaluation of the topic, with no or very little errors or irrelevant content. Where relevant, the answer will also evidence some comparative evaluation of the issues concerned. All the material and references (where applicable) are extremely well presented in the answer, and the answer is very well constructed and grammatically excellent in English/Welsh.

B:- A comprehensive answer, containing all or most of the material relevant to the question with no or very little irrelevancy, all the material and references being predominantly accurate and correct, with no or very little 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.

Learning outcomes

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

  2. Accurately describe, critically analyse, comment on, and evaluate emerging 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, and environmental law.

  5. Effectively communicate the relevant information in 3 & 4, both orally in seminars and in writing in formative and summative assessments.

  6. Undertake independent legal research in relation to the law of the sea and emerging regulatory issues.

  7. Analyse, evaluate and apply the information found in 6.

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

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written essay 1
3 hour exam 2

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 161
Seminar

The module will be taught by eleven two-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.

22
 

Three two-hour revision sessions in the last two weeks of the semester.

6
Workshop

A one-hour weekly workshop over 11 weeks

11

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.
  • 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

  • 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

Resources

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: