S. Practicing International Law: Maritime Conflicts and Law of the Sea

Course Information

Course Number
Curriculum Level
Areas of Study
International and Comparative Law, National Security Law
Additional Attributes
Experiential Credit

Section 001 Information


Section Description

Start Date: January 10 End Date: January 14

Practicing International Law: Maritime Conflicts and Law of the Sea is an immersive seminar examining contemporary challenges related to the international law of the sea from the perspective of international lawyers and national security policymakers. Taught by Robert Harris, Assistant Legal Adviser for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State, the seminar will focus on the complex and comprehensive legal regime that applies to more than 70 percent of the earth's surface, touching on vital strategic and economic interests of governments around the world. Problems to be explored include: U.S. efforts to preserve global rules through its "freedom of navigation" program; understanding the challenges the “flag state” legal regime for the high seas presents to effective law enforcement at sea to respond to crimes ranging from piracy, drug and human trafficking, to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; available legal processes for the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes, with a focus on current tensions and maritime disputes in the South China Sea. Some introductory knowledge of basic international concepts (e.g. international law obligations on States arising from treaties or customary international law) is assumed; it is therefore very strongly recommended that students have already taken at least one other international law course. This intensive seminar is structured to accommodate in-class simulation exercises and may involve optional learning opportunities with guest practitioners outside of class time (these will be optional but highly encouraged). This expanded format will allow for team-based, role-playing exercises and for discussion among students, faculty and guests about the substance and practice of international law. To receive credit, students must actively participate in class discussions and exercises, demonstrating familiarity with the reading material and critical thinking about it.

Credit/No Credit with evaluation based on submission (pass/fail) of a short Q and A before the first class and active participation in class. With respect to the waitlist, the professor may add students from the waitlist.

School Year & Semester
January 2022
JGH 546
Class meets on
  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Method of Evaluation
J.D Writing Credit?

Course Limitations

Instructor Pre-requisites
Instructor Co-Requisites
Recommended Courses
Other Limitations