Navy chief to speak at ANU law of the sea conference

Subi Reef

The Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, and leading international law experts will speak at an Australian National University (ANU) event that will explore the international law of the sea in the Asia Pacific region.

The Law of the Sea in the Asia Pacific Region will bring together leading practitioners and international law experts to look at opportunities, challenges and potential flash points in a region that includes the volatile North Korea and controversial South China Sea.

The two-day event marks 35th year since the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) was finalised.

International law expert and event speaker Professor Don Rothwell said that excepting the United States almost all States are party to the LOSC. Nevertheless, difficulties arise in the interpretation of the Convention, such as the case in the South China Sea.

Professor Rothwell has called on the Australian Government to take a lead in developing a dedicated South China Sea Commission to settle the current dispute.

“The apparent impasse in the South China Sea suggests the time is ripe for innovative diplomatic solutions to ensure disputes are settled in a manner consistent with international law,” he said.

“A 15-member commission with a mandate to facilitate mediation, conciliation and ultimately arbitration of the disputes would provide both an informal and formal third party mechanism capable of dealing with the disputes at both a bilateral and regional level,” Professor Rothwell said.

Associate Professor David Letts, the conference organiser, said the event, to be hosted by the ANU College of Law’s Centre for Military and Security Law, will help reduce the amount of misinformation about the law of the sea in the public domain.

For more information on this event please visit:

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Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team