Events Organised by CIL

On 9-11 December 2015, the Centre for International Law (CIL) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea (JCLOS) at the UiT The Arctic University of Norway hosted an International Conference on the Governance of Arctic Shipping in Singapore. The objective of the Conference was to examine major legal issues relating to shipping in the Arctic and the role of Arctic States, user States and international organisations in Arctic shipping governance. For more information and speakers’ presentations, click here.

On 20 January 2015, CIL hosted a seminar by Professor David VanderZwaag entitled “Law of the Sea and Ocean Governance in the Arctic: Conflict, Cooperation and Challenges”. This seminar explored three dimensions of the law of the sea and ocean governance in the fast-changing Arctic. First, territorial and jurisdictional conflicts were highlighted. These include the continuing disputes between Canada and the United States over the legal status of the Northwest Passage and the location of the ocean boundary in the Beaufort Sea. Second, the numerous cooperation agreements and arrangements applicable to the Arctic will be discussed, including the central role of the Arctic Council to which Singapore is now an observer, and efforts to negotiate a new Polar Shipping Code and address the long-range transport of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury into the Arctic. Third, the law of the sea and ocean governance challenges were reviewed, which include the need to enhance future governance arrangements for the central Arctic Ocean beyond national jurisdiction, put the ecosystem approach into practice, and address the many limitations of the Arctic Council. For more information and to download Prof VanderZwaag’s presentation in PDF format, click here.

On 10 December 2014, Captain J. Ashley Roach made a presentation entitled “Arctic IMO Issues” at a public seminar organised by CIL and supported by Singapore Maritime Institute and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore. This lecture examined a range of issues involving the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its efforts to enhance the safety of navigation in and protection of the marine environment of the Arctic Ocean. The lecture briefly described the IMO and then focused on various aspects of the Polar Code, including the IMO’s rules for the tacit acceptance procedure of amendments to the technical provisions of SOLAS and MARPOL, the geographic scope of the Polar Code, its applicability to various classes of ships, and training and certification of seafarers for Arctic operations. The lecture also discussed potential new IMO measures affecting Arctic shipping. For more information and to download Capt Roach’s presentation in PDF format, click here.

On 25 November 2014, CIL was delighted to host a public seminar by Professor Larry Mayer on Understanding Article 76 and the Challenges of Mapping the Arctic. Professor Mayer is an expert on deep-sea mapping and has participated in numerous expeditions to the Arctic. This seminar examined what is required to establish an extended continental shelf under Article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and explored modern tools for mapping the seafloor and how they can be applied to ice-covered regions in the Arctic. Professor Mayer also shared his experiences of more than eight seasons of working and mapping in the high Arctic. For more information, click here.

On 23 September 2014, Captain J. Ashley Roach made a presentation entitled ‘Arctic Maritime Boundaries’ during his second of three visits as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow to assist CIL in developing a research programme on international law issues in the Arctic. This seminar examined the international law rules for maritime boundary making within the context of the Arctic Ocean, both within 200 nautical miles from baselines and beyond. The seminar was moderated by CIL Director Robert Beckman and was attended by participants from the Singapore government, foreign embassies, the business community and academia. To view the seminar presentation, click here.

On 23 May 2014, Captain J. Ashley Roach made a presentation entitled “An Introduction to Arctic Governance” at a public seminar organised by CIL. Captain Roach introduced the geography of the Arctic and the role of the Arctic Council. He also discussed the international law that governs the Arctic, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), including the Polar Code. The seminar was moderated by CIL Director Robert Beckman and was attended by participants from the Singapore government, foreign embassies, the business community and academia. To view the seminar materials, click here.