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Law of the Sea (LAW-721-001)
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The “Law of the Sea” formed the foundation of modern public international law. It also represents the world’s first efforts to define and regulate a “global commons” and to grapple with the notion of territory or resources managed by the international community as the “common heritage of mankind”. Beginning with its roots in the customary law of nations of early modern Europe, the course will trace the evolution of twenty-first century law of the sea through its partial codification in an assortment of multilateral agreements - including the United Nations’ Convention on Law of the Sea (“LOS Convention” or “UNCLOS”). Topics explored include freedom of navigation on the high seas, the limits on port-state jurisdiction over foreign vessels, the obligations of flag-states in maintaining their registries of vessels, and the scope of coastal nations’ power to regulate activities in their respective territorial waters, “contiguous zones”, and “exclusive economic zones”. The course also examines through case-studies how the UNCLOS regime functions in tandem with various other multilateral agreements, customary international law, and domestic law in addressing specific current issues, including management of living and nonliving resources on the Continental Shelf, suppression of piracy, reduction of pollution, preservation of undersea cultural heritage, and protection of highly migratory fish stocks.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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First Class Readings
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The syllabus is available in the following format(s):