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 can be categorised under three general headings: (1) global governance, (2) regional governance and (3) maritime security. The activities under these research programmes include delivering lectures locally and internationally, extensive publishing in journals and books, and organising training courses for government officials, academics and practitioners.

The first issue of global governance that CIL researched was the international regulation of submarine cables. 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). Another issue that CIL examined in its early years was the international regulation of offshore installations and structures, including the decommissioning of offshore installations and the use of disused platforms to construct artificial reefs. CIL’s work on this topic was multidisciplinary. In recent years, CIL has organised international conferences and workshops to examine other issues of global governance that deal in one way or another with the protection and preservation of the marine environment.

CIL’s research on regional governance focuses on issues of special interest to the Southeast Asia region, such as the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and the 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 will be published in 2018.

CIL’s research on maritime security focuses 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.

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.