• Offered by ANU Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Donald Rothwell
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

A participant who has successfully completed this course should:

  • have a clear understanding and appreciation of the international legal framework created by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;
  • have a clear understanding of the evolution, and current status of the various jurisdictional zones and regimes that currently govern the utilisation of the world's oceans, and of the underlying policy considerations that led to the adoption of the compromises reflected in the contemporary Law of the Sea; and
  • be capable of applying the relevant legal norms to practical situations.

The 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.

Addressed will be the history of Law of the Sea concepts; baselines and 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, marine environmental protection and management, maritime regulation and enforcement, and dispute resolution in the law of the sea.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Define, explain, distinguish and apply the basic concepts, terminology, and advanced theoretical knowledge of the international law of the sea;
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Select and apply a range of approaches in written and oral communication, and apply critical thinking required to bring about creative solutions to and new understandings of complex law of the sea problems
  6. Develop technical research skills to use, interpret and apply a wide range of legal materials in both on-line and traditional media from international and national sources
  7. Plan and execute a piece of research with some independence

Other Information

Classes may be offered in non-standard sessions and be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (a minimum of 36 hours). Please refer to the LLB timetable for dates. Please contact the ANU College of Law Student Administration Services to request a permission code to enrol in classes offered in non-standard sessions.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Compulsory, non-redeemable mid-semester examination (40) [LO null]
  2. Compulsory, non-redeemable end-of-semester research essay (60) [LO null]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week (a minimum of 36 hours). Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

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. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed LAWS8253 Law of the Sea.

Prescribed Texts



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
2020 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9784 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 Online or In Person View

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions