Call for Papers - Interest Group on Law of the Sea Pre-conference Workshop




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The Law of the Sea Interest Group of the European Society of International Law


Global Commons and Values in Oceans: What should be the role of the New Implementing Agreement under UNCLOS?

The oceans include one of the largest global commons, the high seas, and are on a trajectory of significant degradation, as a result of overexploitation of marine resources and other human activities. This situation is also exacerbated by global climate change, which is exerting an increasingly negative influence on the sea. Moving the oceans from decline to recovery is a hugely complex problem involving a host of intersecting factors, including socioeconomic drivers, climate change and geopolitical issues. Law is not absent in this mixture; quite to the contrary, it is called to play a pivotal role in altering this trajectory and moving the regulatory agenda towards the sustainable use of the global goods and commons of the oceans.

At the centre of this endeavour stand the negotiations for a new implementing agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In 2015 the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 69/292 calling for development of an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). This implementing agreement is aimed at establishing a framework in ABNJ for: use of marine genetic resources, including for benefit sharing; measures such as area-based management tools, including marine protected areas and environmental impact assessments; capacity building and transfer of marine technology. It will hopefully fill current gaps in the protection of biodiversity and management of human activities in ABNJ. Following the meetings of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) -the last planned to be held in July 2017- an intergovernmental conference will be convened to consider the recommendations of the PrepCom and draft the text of a binding agreement under UNCLOS.

Participants in this workshop will critically examine whether the current workings of the PrepCom are geared towards a positive direction, highlighting areas of agreement, disagreement and lack of clarity. At the same time, this workshop will evaluate how the global public goods, global commons and fundamental values of humankind are to be served better in ABNJ and how we can strike a balance between sustainable oceans and economic growth, especially in view of Goal 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Moreover, it will address gaps and legal barriers in the management of global commons in ABNJ, including the lack of effective surveillance and enforcement tools concerning marine protected areas or other area-based conservation measures.
We invite reflections on this theme from a variety of perspectives.

Application Process

Please submit an abstract in word of no more than 800 words to the workshop organizers, c/o Professor Maria Gavouneli:

The following information must be provided with each abstract:
 The author’s name and affiliation;
 The author’s CV, including a list of relevant publications;
 The author’s contact details, including email address and 
 Whether the abstract should be considered for the ESIL Young Scholar Prize.

Only one abstract per author will be considered.

Abstracts will be selected for inclusion in the IGLS workshop on the basis of their alignment with the panel description and objectives as well as the overall coherence of the panel.
Submissions in both English and French, the two official languages of the Society, are welcomed.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 15 June 2017.

Applicants will be informed of the selection committee’s decision no later than 22 June 2017.
The Interest Group is unable to provide funding for travel to and attendance at the conference. Please see the ESIL web site for information on finances and for other relevant information about the conference.