CIL Team Bios

Assoc Prof Robert C BECKMAN

Telephone: (65) 6516 8215

Robert Beckman is the Director of the Centre for International Law (CIL) and the head of its programme in Ocean Law and Policy. He heads the CIL Research Projects on Submarine Cables and Law of the Sea and on International Maritime Crimes.

Prof Beckman is also an associate professor in the NUS Faculty of Law. He currently teaches Public International Law and Ocean Law & Policy in Asia. He also teaches a module on International Law & Singapore Law in the first year compulsory course, Singapore Legal System. In addition to his current subjects, he has taught International Legal Process, International Regulation of Shipping, Maritime Security & International Law, Marine Environmental Law, Space Law & Policy and United Nations Law.

Prof Beckman has a special interest in public international law and in ocean law and policy. He lectures in Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy, a summer diploma programme held in Rhodes, Greece. He has also taught intensive course on Ocean Law & Policy for UNITAR in Myanmar and at the Graduate School of International Studies, University of Tokyo.

He is an Adjunct Senior Fellow in the Maritime Security Programme at the Institute for Defence and Strategic Studies of the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU. He serves as a member of the Singapore delegation meetings of the Council on Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP). He also served as a resource person for many of the meetings and Workshops on Managing Potential Conflicts in the South China Sea. He has also worked on ocean law and policy issues with the Ocean Policy Research Foundation (OPRF) of Japan and the Science Council of Asia.

Prof Beckman also has a special interest in mooting and advocacy. He served as the faculty advisor and coach of NUS teams in the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition for 30 years, and has also coached NUS teams in the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition and the International Maritime Law Moot Court Competition.

Prof Beckman served as the Vice Dean (Academic Affairs) from 2001 to 2006. He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) at the 2007 National Day Awards. He has also received two awards from NUS – the Outstanding Educator Award in 2001, and the Staff Achievement Award in 1997.


LLM (Harvard), JD BBA (Wisconsin)


  • Director, Centre for International Law, NUS
  • Adjunct Senior Fellow, Maritime Security Programme, Institute for Defence & Strategic Studies, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University

Research Interests

  • Ocean Law & Policy
  • Piracy and Maritime Security
  • International Regulation of Shipping
  • Marine Environmental Law

Selected Publications

  1. “Moving Beyond Disputes Over Island Sovereignty: ICJ Decision Sets Stage for Maritime Boundary Delimitation in the Singapore Strait” (2009) 40 OCEAN DEVELOPMENT & INTERNATIONAL LAW, 1-35 (CO-AUTHORED WITH CLIVE SCHOFIELD)
  2. “PSSAs and Transit Passage – Australia’s Pilotage System in the Torres Strait Challenges IMO and UNCLOS” (2007) 38 OCEAN DEVELOPMENT & INTERNATIONAL LAW 325-357
  3. “The Establishment of a Cooperative Mechanism for the Straits of Malacca and Singapore under Article 43 of UNCLOS”, in A. Chircop, T. L. McDorman & S. J. Rolston, (eds), THE FUTURE OF OCEAN REGIME-BUILDING: ESSAYS IN TRIBUTE TO DOUGLAS M. JOHNSTON, (Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2009), pp. 233-260
  4. “The Regulation of Ship-Source Pollution in Straits Used for International Navigation, in M. Nordquist, T. B. Koh, and J. N. Moore, (eds), FREEDOM OF SEAS, PASSAGE RIGHTS AND THE 1982 LAW OF THE SEA CONVENTION (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 2009), pp. 311-337
  5. “The 1988 SUA Convention and the 2005 SUA Protocol – Tools to Combat Piracy, Armed Robbery and Maritime Terrorism”, in R. Herbert-Burns, S. Bateman & P. Lehr, (eds), LLOYD’S MIU HANDBOOK OF MARITIME SECURITY (Australia: Taylor & Francis, 2008), Chp 12, pp. 187-213
  6. “Archipelagic Sea Lanes Passage in Southeast Asia – Developments and Uncertainties” in Kwa Chong Guan and J K Skogan, (eds),MARITIME SECURITY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, (Singapore: Oxon: Routledge, 2007), Chp 9, pp. 117-133