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Oceans Issues

UN Division for Ocean Affairs & Law of the Sea

Warming oceans reshaping fishermen's catch

Legal Vortex in the Strait of Hormuz by Kraska

Rule of Law in the West Philippine Sea Dispute by Bulletin

Up to 32% of US seafood imports caught illegally

2013 Joint Ocean Commission Initiative

Sargasso Sea Conservation Declaration Signed

Implementation Plan for National Strategy for Arctic Region 2014

South China Sea: A Game of Shark and Minnow (video essay)

CO2 Causing Oceans to Acidify at Unprecedented Rate: full report

Moore on LOS treaty and the American economy (C-SPAN Video)

Maritime Game-Changer, China beginning to embrace UNCLOS

2013 National Strategy for the Arctic Region

LOST not liberal folly by Bellinger

Restoring America's Oceans Leadership by Moore

Preventing Terrorist Attacks on Offshore Platforms by Harel

Moore response to Rumsfeld's anti-Law of the Sea testimony

Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (2010)

"The Spill" Frontline investigation of BP practices (video)

Piracy & Maritime Crime, the NWC Newport Papers (2010)

Northern Exposures (on Arctic tensions) by Kraska

US Navy's Arctic Roadmap (2009)

Influence of Law on Sea Power by Kraska

Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009

20th Session of International Seabed Authority

Climate Change Impact & National Security by Engel

Fighting Pirates by Kraska & Wilson

Oil plagues Sound 20 years after Exxon Valdez

Arctic thaw raises security concerns for NATO

IMB live piracy map (2014)

Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis

Supreme Court: No limits on Navy Sonar use

UNESCO Convention on Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage entered into force Jan. 2009

"America Wins with UNCLOS" by Eagleburger & Moore

A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower (Navy, Marine Corps & Coast Guard)

Maritime Interdiction of WMD in an International Legal Perspective by Jimenez Kwast

Maritime Interdiction of WMD by Guilfoyle

National Plan to Achieve Maritime Domain Awareness (2005)

Semester at Sea study program


A Nonpartisan, Nonprofit Interdisciplinary Center
for Advanced Scholarship and Education About
Legal & Policy Issues Affecting the Oceans

Animated ImagesThe Center for Oceans Law and Policy supports research, education, and discussion on legal and public policy issues relating to the oceans.  Through a regular program of conferences, publications, and lectures, the Center promotes interdisciplinary interaction at all levels, addressing international, national, regional, and state issues.  The Center also provides archives of oceans documents for the library of the University of Virginia School of Law.  The Center sponsors or co-sponsors an Annual Conference of oceans experts and scholars on a contemporary topic of international concern; a summer academy in Rhodes, Greece; visiting scholars; the annual Doherty Lecture in Washington, DC; and occasional Oceans Forums.

Teaching is an integral part of the Center's mission. Director John Norton Moore (Walter L. Brown Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law) and Associate Director Myron H. Nordquist (former Stockton Chair of International Law at the Naval War College) bring distinguished teaching experience and ability to the Center. Professor Moore regularly teaches his course on Oceans Law and Policy at the University of Virginia School of Law. Professor Moore also teaches courses on international law, national security law, the rule of law, and several seminars on issues relating to war and peace. Both Professors Moore and Nordquist frequently teach at the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law. Professor Nordquist maintains a busy schedule, including teaching during 2007 at the Marco Polo Academy at Xiamen University in China, and speaking at the DOALOS/UNITAR Briefing on
Developments in Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea held at the United Nations.

The Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy is an international collegial institution dedicated to fostering a better understanding of the modern law of the sea. Through education on the principles of contemporary oceans law and policy, the Rhodes Academy seeks to promote adherence to the rule of law in the world's oceans. Founded in 1995, the Academy held its inaugural session in the summer of 1996 and has continued on an annual basis. The Academy provides an intensive, three-week course of study, with lectures by leading jurists, practitioners, and international law faculty from around the world.

The Annual Conference of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy provides a unique opportunity for leading scholars and policy makers to meet and exchange ideas on important concerns in the oceans community. The conference is typically held overseas with individual presentations, panel discussions, and prominent keynote speakers. The issues are usually international in scope. The Proceedings of each Annual Conference is published by Martinus Nijhoff, and is distributed worldwide. The Center has hosted the Conference in such locations as Heidelberg, Germany; Dublin, Ireland; Xiamen, China; Reykjavik, Iceland; Stockholm, Sweden; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Bali, Indonesia. Recent topics include Legal Challenges in Maritime Security; Law, Science and Ocean Management; Recent Developments in the Law of the Sea and China; the Arctic and the Law of the Sea; The Law of the Sea Convention--US Accession and Globalization; and Maritime Border Diplomacy.

The UNCLOS Commentary has been the focus of the Center's publications efforts during the last few years. This highly-praised seven-volume series, entitled United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982: A Commentary was completed in 2011. These volumes provide an objective analysis of the individual provisions of that Convention. The Commentary was acknowledged in the first decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea as the "most authoritative" source on the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea. These volumes are available for purchase at Brill Academic Publishers. The complete consolidated text of UNCLOS as well as an index to the series is included in Volume VII (2011). A soft-cover Supplementary Documents volume containing legal authorities, guidelines and agreements associated with the Convention is also now available.

Programs sponsored by the Center for Oceans Law and Policy include the annual Doherty Lecture and occasional forums and lectures. At the most recent Doherty Lecture, ITLOS Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum spoke on "Fighting Terrorism at Sea." At a luncheon hosted by the John Bassett Moore Society of International Law, ITLOS Judge Helmut Tuerk spoke in October 2007 at the University of Virginia School of Law on "The Law of the Sea Tribunal and U.S. Foreign Policy" (University Seminars Program of the Onassis Foundation, USA).


*****Announcing our latest publications*****


Peaceful Order in the World's Oceans: Essays in Honor of Satya N. Nandan

A collection of substantive essays in honor of Satya N. Nandan edited by Michael W. Lodge and Myron H. Nordquist (2014) is now available from Brill Academic Publishers.

The Regulation of Continental Shelf Development: Rethinking International Standards

The volume of papers from the 36th Annual Conference of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy conference (2012, Halifax, NS) is now available from Brill Academic Publishers.

Maritime Border Diplomacy

The volume of papers from the 35th Annual Conference of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy conference (2011, Bali, Indonesia) is now available from Brill Academic Publishers.

UNCLOS 1982 Commentary: Supplementary Documents

This soft-cover volume gathers together core documents which augment the seven-volume series United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982: A Commentary. It focuses on the three new international organizations created by the Convention: The International Seabed Authority, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Now available from Brill Academic Publishers (2012).

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982: A Commentary: Volume VII

The publication in 2011 of Volume VII of the Virginia Commentary, completes this authoritative series. Volume VII provides the original text of the 1982 convention as fully integrated with the provisions of the 1994 Agreement on the Implementation of Part XI, presenting the consolidated convention in its final form. It also includes an extensive subject index to Volumes I through VI of the series, consolidated tables of cases and treaties, in addition to the one fisheries agreement specifically implementing the Convention. To order ~ Review of Volume VII

The Law of the Sea Convention: US Accession and Globalization

The volume of papers from the 34rd Annual Conference of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy conference (2010, Washington, DC) and a conference on Globalization (2010) co-sponsored by the Korea Maritime Institute is available from Brill Academic Publishers.

Changes in the Arctic Environment and the Law of the Sea

The volume of papers from the 33rd Annual Conference of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy conference (2009, Seward, Alaska) is available from Brill Academic Publishers.