• Class Number 6755
  • Term Code 2950
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Donald Rothwell
    • Prof Donald Rothwell
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 05/08/2019
  • Class End Date 19/09/2019
  • Census Date 16/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 05/08/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course will focus on the impact of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea and more recent supplementary agreements in the light of current State practice, seeking to identify, in particular, the extent to which its provisions have become part of customary international law in that area.

The course will address the following:

  • the history of Law of the Sea concepts
  • internal waters, territorial waters and the regime of innocent passage
  • the contiguous zone
  • transit passage through straits used for international navigation
  • islands, archipelagoes and the regime of archipelagic sealanes passage
  • the Exclusive Economic Zone
  • the Continental Shelf
  • recent developments in delimitation of maritime zones
  • the high seas and the management of High Seas fisheries
  • deep-seabed mining and the International Area.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain, distinguish and apply advanced knowledge of the key concepts and principles that are applicable in the law of the sea and apply this knowledge in the context of the specific workings of international law, especially other relevant treaties, customary international law and methods of dispute resolution;
  2. Demonstrate extensive practical and theoretical familiarity with the provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
  3. Analyse and show advanced understanding of some of the key law of the sea issues confronting Australia and the Asia Pacific region;
  4. Identify how the law of the sea interacts with related areas of international law such as maritime security and concepts of state sovereignty; and
  5. Plan and compose an advanced-level research paper which critically examines one or more contemporary law of the sea issues.

Research-Led Teaching

The course has a strong focus on research-led teaching with respect to a) the relevant literature on the law of the sea, and b) the research experience and practical legal experience of the convenor in law of the sea; and c) the research experience of invited guest lecturers and other presenters in law of the sea

Field Trips

No field trips are proposed.

Additional Course Costs

This course is an intensive course taught at the ANU Acton Campus in Canberra. Students will need to cover costs associated with travel, accommodation, meals etc, if attending from out of State

Required Resources

The prescribed text for this course is: Donald R. Rothwell and Tim Stephens, The International Law of the Sea 2nd Hart/Bloomsbury, Oxford: 2016

The text is available at the ANU branch of Harry Hartog: http://www.harryhartog.com.au/textbooks. Additional resources will be made available via the course WATTLE site

In advance of the course commencing it is recommended that you undertake the following preliminary reading:

  •  Rothwell and Stephens, The International Law of the Sea 2nd Chapter 1
  •  1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Articles 1-45 (available on WATTLE)

The following reference works have been placed on Closed Reserve in the Library:

  • Lowe and Talmon, The Legal Order of the Oceans: Basic Documents on the Law of the Sea (2009)
  • Rothwell, Oude Elferink, Scott and Stephens, The Oxford Handbook of the Law of the Sea (2015)
  • Tanaka, The International Law of the Sea 2nd (2015)

The following journals are also recommended:

  • Australian Year Book of International Law (AYBIL)
  • International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law (IJMCL)
  • Marine Policy (MP)
  • Ocean Development and International Law (ODIL)
  • Ocean Yearbook

The Oceans and Law of the Sea Homepage of the UN Division of Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea is also recommended: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/index.htm

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • individual and all class feedback during class exercises and discussion
  • generic all class feedback on the take-home examination
  • individual feedback on the take-home examination as requested
  • individual written comments on the research essay

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. Please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements relating to the course.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Take-Home examination 40 % 26/08/2019 09/09/2019 1,2,4
Essay 60 % 23/09/2019 21/10/2019 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 26/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 09/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Take-Home examination

Nature of Task: Take-Home Examination assessing course content covered in class with an option of answering one of two problem-type questions

Weighting: 40%

Word limit: no longer than 2500 words

Release: Released 23 August 2019 at 0800

Due date: due by 2355 on 26 August 2019

Estimated return date: 2 weeks after submission.

Assessment Criteria:

a) Content

·        answering the question asked

·        identification of the legal issues raised from the question

·        legal principles stated/explained with accuracy

·        legal principles stated/explained in appropriate detail

·        relevant facts recognised and linked to the legal principles

·        recognition and evaluation of judicial and statutory ambiguities and ‘grey areas’

·        originality/innovation in approach to issues

·        clear conclusions

b) Structure/organisation

·        emphasis on the significant issues

·        answer is coherent and structure logical

c) Expression

·        good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs

·        clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader

·        use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling

No Bibliography is required for primary or secondary sources used in the take-home examination

Assessment Task 2

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 23/09/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5


Nature of Task: Research essay selected from one of five approved essay topics, or a student-proposed and approved essay topic

Weighting: 60%

Word limit: 4,500 word

Release: The topic is to be selected from one of five essay topics that will be released at the conclusion of the class and available via WATTLE. Students may also seek to develop their own essay topic, which is to be approved by the Course Convenor no later than 30 August 2019.

Due date: 23 September 2019

Estimated return date: 21 October 2019

Assessment Criteria:

Understanding of the Issues

·        addresses the question and covers all the important points

·        evidence of close consideration of the question and the research materials drawn on

·        issues raised by the topic are clearly and concisely identified

·        material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just summarised or quoted extensively

Communication and Development of Arguments

·        clear theme or argument

·        arguments logical and well-organised

·        ideas/paragraphs linked coherently


·        originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material

·        complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas

·        suggestions for change where appropriate

·        interdisciplinary perspective where appropriate

·        addressing opposing arguments

·        well-reasoned conclusions


·        research covering primary and secondary materials

·        good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used

·        use of theoretical material where appropriate

·        range of research sources

·        integration of material from research resources into the essay

Presentation, style and referencing

·        good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs

·        clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader

·        use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling

·        full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography

·        style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation

·        adherence to word limit.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Assessment Task 1 (Take-Home Examination)

No submission of Assessment Task 1 after the due date will be permitted. If this assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Assessment Task 2 (Essay)

Late submission of Assessment Task 2 without an extension will be penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of Assessment Task 2 is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Available via hardcopy and WATTLE

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Not permissible for Assessment Task 1. Permissible for Assessment Task 2 only i) prior to the due date ii) with permission of the convenor

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Donald Rothwell

Research Interests

Donald R Rothwell is Professor of International Law at the ANU College of Law, Australian National University where he has taught since July 2006. His research has a specific focus on law of the sea, international polar law, and implementation of international law within Australia as reflected in 26 books, and over 200 articles, book chapters and notes in international and Australian publications. Rothwell’s recent authored, co-authored or edited books include International Polar Law (Edward Elgar, 2018) co-edited with Hemmings; International Law in Australia 3rd (Thomson Reuters, 2017) edited with Crawford; and The International Law of the Sea 2nd (Bloomsbury, 2016) with Stephens. Major career works include The Polar Regions and the Development of International Law (CUP, 1996), and International Law: Cases and Materials with Australian Perspectives 3rd (CUP, 2018) with Kaye, Akhtar-Khavari, Davis and Saunders. Rothwell is also Co-Editor of the Australian Year Book of International Law and Editor-in-Chief of the Brill Research Perspectives in Law of the Sea. His most recent works include The Legal Authority of ASEAN as a Security Institution (CUP, 2019), with Nasu, McLaughlin and Tang, and The Law of the Sea in South East Asia (Routledge, IN PRESS), edited with Letts. From 2012-18 he was Rapporteur of the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on ‘Baselines under the International Law of the Sea’. He has taught a range of courses including Law of the Sea, International Dispute Resolution, International Law and Use of Armed Force, International Humanitarian Law, Military Operations Law, and Public International Law. Rothwell was previously Challis Professor of International Law and Director of the Sydney Centre for International and Global Law, University of Sydney (2004-2006), where he had taught since 1988. He has acted as a consultant or been a member of expert groups for UNEP, UNDP, IUCN, the Australian Government, and acted as advisor to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). In 2012 Rothwell was appointed an inaugural ANU Public Policy Fellow, and in 2015 elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of Law (FAAL). He is a regular media commentator on international law issues and has written over 100 opinion comments, including for all of the major daily newspapers in Australia and ABC Online ‘The Drum. His media interviews have included ABC TV 7.30, ABC Radio ‘AM’ and ‘PM’, ABC Radio National ‘Breakfast’, ABC News 24, Al Jazerra (TV), BBC World (TV), the Voice of America, and The New York Times.

Prof Donald Rothwell

Monday 16:00 17:00
Monday 16:00 17:00
Prof Donald Rothwell
6125 8948

Research Interests

Prof Donald Rothwell

Monday 16:00 17:00
Monday 16:00 17:00

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