Sea-level rise: what are the implications for international law? On 26 October 2021

23/11/2021 with [24 views] no comments

26 October 2021: CIL Director Dr Nilüfer Oral Was One of the Invited Speakers at Freshfields’ Public International Law Seminar, Titled “Sea-level rise: what are the implications for international law?”

During this year’s Sixth Committee (Legal) of the United Nations General Assembly, Freshfields hosted its annual Public International Law Seminar. In keeping with Freshfields’ past events, a distinguished panel of speakers was invited to explore a topical question of international law of interest to States, international organisations and businesses, judges, practitioners, and academics.

The subject of this year’s seminar was ‘Sea-level rise: what are the implications for international law?’

Professor Nilüfer Oral (Member of the International Law Commission and Director of the Centre of International Law (CIL) at the National University of Singapore),

Daphne Hong (Director-General, International Affairs Division, Attorney-General’s Chambers of Singapore),

Professor Jean-Marc Thouvenin (Secretary-General of the Hague Academy of International Law and Professor agrégé at the University Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Defense), and

Alexandra van der Meulen (Counsel at Freshfields),

joined Will Thomas QC, head of Freshfields’ public international law group, in an hour-long interactive discussion.

The speakers covered a wide range of issues, including:

  • What impact will sea-level rise have on existing maritime entitlements, features and boundaries?
  • How will sea-level rise affect the statehood of vulnerable island States?
  • Is existing international law ‘fit for purpose’ when it comes to addressing the potential impact of sea-level rise on the global community; or, is material change to the current legal regime necessary?
  • What progress has the International Law Commission made in considering these issues?

What is the view of vulnerable, low-lying States?