• Offered by ANU Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law

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]

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 in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 36 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.
  • Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have three contact hours per week. Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.

Click here for the LLB Program course list

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a; Bachelor of Laws (ALLB) and have completed or be completing five 1000 level LAWS courses and have completed LAWS2250 International Law; or Juris Doctor (MJD) and 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

Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the course. Alternatively, this information will be published in the Program course list when known.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2023 $4860
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5820
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3874 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View

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