Law of the sea and polar regions

Research theme Law of the sea and polar regions, part of Oceans Law and Governance. 

Research project:


The research project ‘Accommodating New Interests at Sea: Legal Tools for Sustainable Ocean Governance’ (website) aims to offer a theory of interest- and regime-interaction in ocean governance. The research question is: how can the law contribute to the sustainable use of the oceans and strike a balance between competing interests at sea? The project focuses on the interplay between the law of the sea, climate change law and energy law.

From the study of selected maritime activities and their legal framework the research will identify patterns of regime interaction and assess their impact on the different maritime uses. The research project strives to contribute to the debate on regime interaction through an analysis of that interaction before tensions or conflict rise, and it aims to facilitate the realization that competing interests do not always generate tension, and may often benefit in a mutual way. The research project will ultimately develop a theoretical framework and legal tools to aid scholars and stakeholders, including law and policy makers, private investors, and environmental NGOs, in managing competing interests in the offshore economic sector.

The research team is headed by the Principal Investigator Dr. Seline Trevisanut, and consists of two PhD researchers and one Junior Researcher. The research is funded by the European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant), and is carried out within the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law (UCWOSL) and the Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS).