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Formal meeting (oral evidence session): UNCLOS: fit for purpose in the 21st century?

International Relations and Defence Committee
UNCLOS: fit for purpose in the 21st century?

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Start times: 10.00am (private) 10.00am (public)

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Committee holds session with maritime law experts

The House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee will take evidence from academic experts on maritime law and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The Committee will ask questions on the work of the IMO, its’s achievements and the main challenges to the international law of the sea.

Meeting details

At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Inquiry UNCLOS: fit for purpose in the 21st century?
Associate Professor of Law at University of New South Wales Canberra
Chair of International Law and Public Law at University of Basel
At 11.00am: Oral evidence
Inquiry UNCLOS: fit for purpose in the 21st century?
Professor of International Law at The University of Lincoln

Possible questions:

  • We have heard that UNCLOS is a “framework convention”, where many of its provisions can be implemented through specific regulations, or through a “competent international organisation”, such as the International Maritime Organization. What is the usual process by which IMO instruments are established?
  • What have been the main achievements of the IMO, and how successful has it been at achieving its aims? Is it effective enough to bring countries together on issues related to UNCLOS?
  • Part XV of UNCLOS provides for the settlement of disputes between States Parties to the Convention, including via the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. How successful have the various processes of dispute settlement under UNCLOS been to date?
  • Are the current laws regulating maritime security at sea capable of dealing with contemporary challenges in light of recent technological advancements, such as maritime autonomous vehicles?
  • We have heard evidence about challenges posed by the exclusive jurisdiction of the flag state over vessels that fly its flag. How feasible would it be to close this loophole? What would be the challenges and how should they be addressed?
  • We have heard that in the case of human rights at sea, the dominant challenge is enforcement of existing human rights law, rather than gaps in the law. What should be done to improve enforcement of human rights law at sea?



Room 4, Palace of Westminster

How to attend