• Offered by ANU Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

LAWS6224 International Law of the Sea is a JD-specific version of a parallel course (LAWS2224) which is being offered to undergraduates in the ANU College of Law LLB program. As a JD-specific course is has some distinctive teaching, learning and assessment components that distinguish it from the undergraduate version.

The International Law of the Sea is one of the oldest distinctive areas of public international law with Hugo Grotius being one of its leading publicists. In the Twentieth Century the law of the sea moved from an area of international law dominated by customary international law, to one in which treaties gained prominence. This occurred first with the adoption of the four 1958 Geneva Conventions on the Law of the Sea, and then with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

This course covers the major areas of the law of the sea as reflected in the provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, additional international conventions and agreements, and current state practice. Each of the major maritime zones are assessed in addition to a review being undertaken of specific sectoral and related issues. While the course will primarily deal with international law, where appropriate, reference will be made to Australian practice and relevant Australian legislation dealing with the law of the sea. The course includes discrete assessment of current topical issues in the international law of the sea which will form the focus of consideration during seminars.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

(a)   Define, explain, distinguish and apply the basic concepts and terminology of the international law of the sea;

(b)   Define and distinguish amongst the variety of processes by which the international law of the sea is formed and the roles played by the most important bodies and institutions;

(c)    Define, explain and apply the relevant principles of the international law of the sea found in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;

(d)   Explain and demonstrate through particular cases the relevance of the international law of the sea to current political and social developments at the international and national levels;

(e)    Select and apply a range of approaches in written and oral communication, and apply critical thinking required to bring about creative solutions to complex law of the sea problems; and

(f)     Use, interpret and apply a wide range of legal materials in both on-line and traditional media from international and national sources.

Indicative Assessment

mid-semester examination (Value 50%)

seminar presentation (Value 10%)

3000 word research essay (Value - 40%)

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Three contact hours per week. Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Bachelor of Laws (LLB, LLB(H)), have completed or be completing five 1000 level LAWS courses and have completed LAWS2250 International Law; OR Juris Doctor (7330XJD, 7330HJD or MJD), have completed or be completing five 1000 or 6100 level LAWS courses and have completed LAWS2250/LAWS6250 International Law; OR Juris Doctor - online (MJDOL) and have completed LAWS8712 Australian Public Law and International Law B.

Prescribed Texts

Donald R. Rothwell and Tim Stephens International Law of the Sea (Hart, Oxford: 2010)


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5700
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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