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Maritime dispute settlement

Module information>

Academic Direction
UCL, Queen Mary University of London
Modes of Study

Maritime dispute settlement deals with both general and specific issues of the settlement of maritime disputes.

The course primarily relates to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It analyses the various procedures of maritime dispute settlement, the provisions of UNCLOS and their application by international courts and tribunals. Where relevant, the course also refers to and analyses other international instruments.

Module A: General dispute settlement in international law


Deals with the fundamental concepts of peaceful settlement of international disputes. It analyses the various mechanisms available for the settlement of international disputes, as well as the sources of public international law.

  • Peaceful settlement of disputes
  • Standing before international courts and tribunals
  • Sources of public international law
  • The organisation and functioning of ITLOS

Module B:Introduction to the law of the sea


Deals with the law of the sea in general, and discusses issues such as the principal functions of the law of the sea, the relationship between the law of the sea and international law in general, and the sources of the law of the sea.

  • General background to the law of the sea
  • Sources of the law of the sea
  • Principal functions of the law of the sea
  • The law of the sea in relation to general international law

Module C: Maritime dispute settlement procedures


Deals with settlement of dispute procedures of the law of the sea, such as voluntary proceedings, compulsory proceedings, and exceptions and limitations to compulsory proceedings.

  • Settlement of dispute procedures for the law of the sea
  • Part XV of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
  • Procedures of international courts and tribunals
  • Law of the sea and proliferation of courts and tribunals

Module D: Dispute settlement in certain areas of the law of the sea


deals with dispute settlement in certain areas of the law of the sea, such as issues relating to maritime delimitation, marine resources, marine environmental protection, climate change and the law of the sea, and marine biodiversity.

  • Delimitation
  • Marine resources and marine biodiversity
  • Marine environmental protection
  • Analytical comparison of jurisprudence of courts and tribunals


Each module will be assessed by a 45-minute unseen written examination.


The modules must be attempted in order.

How to apply

You can apply to study a module individually as a standalone unit or as part of a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Laws qualification.

Please note that modules of this course cannot be taken in conjunction with modules of course LWM34 International law of the sea.

These modules contribute towards the following specialisations:

  • Environmental and natural resources law
  • International dispute settlement
  • Maritime law
  • Public international law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.