Fletcher School Students Club

Law of the Sea: A Policy Primer

Presented by The Fletcher School’s LL.M. Program in International Law & Maritime Studies Program

The law of the sea, as embodied in the Law of the Sea Convention, forms the basis for the conduct of maritime commerce that is critical to international trade; codifies the rules of freedom of navigation that are essential to national security and commerce; and provides an international framework for the conservation, regulation, and exploitation of the resources of the oceans and continental shelf.

An understanding of the law of the sea is more critical than ever. Maritime claims in the South China Sea, the Persian Gulf and elsewhere continue to increase regional tensions. As the Arctic Ocean melts, parties turn to the law of the sea to determine the claims of competing states to emerging transportation, mining and fishing opportunities. Countries great and small seek to limit long-established rules relating to freedom of navigation, while piracy threatens the peaceful conduct of trade on the world’s oceans.

The Fletcher Primer provides a clear and current introduction to key principles of the law of the sea for those who need to understand those concepts in today’s challenging world.