CIL has had a very active research programme in ocean law and policy since its founding in 2009. CIL’s wide-ranging research in ocean law and policy covers most aspects of ocean law and policy. We have categorised them for this website to highlight subject areas where we have the most recent or current activities:

  1. Activities at Sea include four activities: shipping and IMO regulations, deep seabed mining in the Area, offshore installations and structures including protection of the marine environment, decommissioning and submarine cables. CIL looked at this topic area from a perspective of global governance and international regulation. CIL organised several workshops and events on this subject and worked closely with the International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) to publish Submarine Cables: The Handbook of Law and Policy (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013).
  2. Marine Environment (including biodiversity), from a governance perspective at global and regional level. Marine environmental issues are researched on the basis of a general environmental approach but also and more often in the context of sustainable development and sustainable use of marine resources. In this case, environmental considerations are discussed in the context of specific activities, their impact on the marine environment and applicable regulations.
  3. Law of the Sea Disputes includes research and training on baselines, boundaries and maritime claims as well as the study of cases on the Law of the law.
  4. South China Sea
    CIL has organised three major international conferences and a number of seminars on the legal issues arising from the disputes in the South China Sea and published two books on the topic. A third book has been published in 2018.

  5. Regional Governance. CIL’s research on this topic focuses on issues of special interest to the Southeast Asia region as well as the Arctic. Examples of areas of focus are the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, the ASEAN legal and institutional framework for the management of the marine environment in Southeast Asia as well as regional regime building in general.
  6. Maritime Security includes a focus on issues that are of special interest to the Southeast Asia region, including piracy and international maritime crimes. CIL organised workshops and published a book on the subject.
  7. Current Issues include Climate Change and the Law of the Sea, Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) and the management of marine plastics.
  8. Maps, Graphs and Tables: this category brings together maps, graphs and tables about Southeast Asia which have been developed in the context of specific research focuses highlighted above.

In 2016 CIL received a three-year supplementary research grant from the Maritime and Port Authority through the Singapore Maritime Institute, for research on legal issues relating to the Arctic, straits used for international navigation, and ocean governance. One of the issues examined under this grant is the role of the International Maritime Organization in the regulation of international shipping.