Master in Law of the Sea

General

Program Description

The oceans cover over 70 percent of the surface of the Earth. Humans depend on the oceans for life, work, food, travel, and human health. The ocean is the world's greatest reservoir of biodiversity, including marine mammals, fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and countless other species.

The LL.M. program aims to broaden the traditional approach to the Law of the Sea from jurisdictional issues to also include substantial law such as conservation and sustainable use of biological resources and protection of biodiversity and the environment. Although the program of study has a clear global profile, it also has a distinct Arctic dimension. Much of the Arctic consists of marine areas. Global climate change will increasingly subject these areas to various uses such as navigation, oil and gas exploitation, fisheries, and research. The Arctic regions provide unique opportunities for studying both global and regional legal approaches to protect and preserve the marine environment.

Program description

  • Duration: 3 semesters
  • Credits (ECTS): 90
  • Admission requirements: Bachelor degree in law or political science + motivational letter
  • Degree Name: Master of Laws (LL.M.) in the Law of the Sea
  • Application code:
    • Norwegian and Nordic applicants: 7001
    • International applicants: 2033

The program will through its courses and master's thesis give the students a broad introduction and knowledge of the Law of the Sea, including its development and the political and institutional aspects. Students at the program are taught by legal experts from the Faculty of Law and JCLOS as well as other institutions, such as intergovernmental organizations, international tribunals, academics, and practitioners. The teaching includes lectures, problem-based seminars, writing courses, moot-court experiences, and excursions to relevant institutions, where in all activities students are active participants.

The program is intensive with a structure of three semesters through one calendar year, starting in August. The autumn semester consists of two introductory courses on the Law of the Sea and the politics of the Law of the Sea. The spring semester focuses on more specific topics on the Arctic and protection of the Marine Environment. In the third-semester students select their own topic for an individual research project, which is to be completed during the summer.

Program outline:

First semester

  • JUR-3050 General Law of the Sea

The course provides a general introduction to the Law of the Sea, i.e. the rules and principles of international public law that cover the maritime areas.

  • JUR-3054 General Law of the Sea II

The course bases on JUR-3050 and goes deeper into the selected topics.  

Second semester

  • JUR-3052 Protection of the Marine Environment by International Law

The course focuses on the international legal rules concerning the protection of the marine environment from the adverse effects of different human uses and the sustainable use of marine resources.

  • JUR-3053 Law of the sea and the Arctic

The course focuses on the Law of the Sea and Arctic issues. The General Law of the Sea is applicable to the marine areas of the Arctic. But at the same time, the region has special traits that must be considered. In this course, the students will have to apply the knowledge they have acquired during the previous courses on Arctic issues. Generally, the course, therefore, has the character of case studies, with special emphasis on the Arctic.

Third semester

  • JUR-3910 Master's thesis in Law of the Sea

It consists of an obligatory thesis based on themes and questions from the Law of the Sea. The students will be provided with individual supervision. The thesis must be a minimum of 37 pages and a maximum of 55 pages, with formatting in accordance with the Regulations for the Law of the Sea program, section 14. The theme of the thesis shall be of a legal or semi-legal character and may include perspectives such as legal theory, legal history. The thesis must consist of independent analyses of the theme and the legal sources available. The thesis shall provide the student with an in-depth study of a particular topic. The discussions of the thesis are to be transparent and as complete as possible. The references to the sources shall be precise and verifiable.

Learning outcomes

The candidates shall during the LL.M-programme acquire knowledge, skills, and general competence enabling them to hold positions dealing with the law of the sea issues. They shall be capable of identifying and analyzing legal questions and relate themselves to the legal system in an independent and critical manner.

To achieve these objectives the candidates are to acquire and develop the following qualifications:

Knowledge:

An LL.M. candidate in the law of the sea shall have:

  • Advanced knowledge on the central subjects of the law of the sea;
  • Specialized knowledge of other subjects of the law of the sea;
  • Knowledge of scientific research methods.

Skills:

An LL.M. candidate in the law of the sea shall be able to:

  • identify and analyze questions of theoretical and practical character in a methodological and ethical proper manner;
  • apply the relevant sources of law independently and critically ;
  • identify the limitations of existing law and discuss the need for changes;
  • independently undertake limited research work under supervision in accordance with norms of research ethics;
  • organize and apply extensive and complex information, including identifying main and sub- research questions;
  • communicate in English both orally and in writing legal reasoning in a clear and precise manner;
  • stay up to date on legal developments within the law of the sea and to further develop his/her qualifications.

The candidate shall be able to apply the knowledge and skills individually and in cooperation with others, as well as finalize tasks within given time frames.

General Competence:

After passing the program, the student can:

  • apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the field of the Law of the Sea individually and in cooperation with others;
  • communicate reasoning within the field of the Law of the Sea in a clear and precise manner, orally, and in writing to the academic community and the public;
  • apply knowledge and skills acquired within the field of the Law of the Sea to other fields of international law, and for all tasks and projects where relevant;
  • identify and reflect on ethical dilemmas that may arise within the field of the Law of the Sea in particular and deal with these in a responsible manner;
  • apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the field of the Law of the Sea to carry out tasks within given timeframes.

Job prospectives

The program qualifies students for jobs both at the national and international levels, within the United Nations and its specialized agencies, in national diplomatic service as well as public administration and industry and commerce. Further, our students have been selected for internships at leading international institutions, such as the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) and International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). Students may also be qualified to make a career within academia as doctoral students within in law of the sea or other research areas.

Program structure

Term 10 studiepoeng | 10 studiepoeng | 10 studiepoeng
First semester (fall)
JUR-3050_186_E_2020_H_1 (15 ECTS)
JUR-3054_186_E_2020_H_1 (15 ECTS)
Second semester (spring)
JUR-3052_186_E_2021_V_1 (15 ECTS)
JUR-3053_186_E_2021_V_1 (15 ECTS)
Third semester (summer)
JUR-3910_186_E_2021_H_1 (30 ECTS)

Teaching and assessment

The teaching, assignments, and exams shall reflect the different types of tasks the students will have to deal with in their future professional careers. The objective is to be achieved through the active participation of the students during the courses; through study, discussions, and papers. Lectures will provide for the introduction to the themes while problem-based seminars will make most of the teaching where students and teachers identify and discuss legal questions. Students are also encouraged to hand in papers during the courses to develop their knowledge of subjects and analytical skills.

During the writing of the master's thesis, the students are entitled to supervision cf. the regulations for the Law of the Sea program section 18.

The students are assessed during and at the end of the study. The forms of assessment include work requirements, six-hour written school exams, a home exam followed by an oral exam, and at the end of the study, each student must write a master's thesis. The exams and thesis are graded A-F, with F as not passed. Students that fail or have other legitimate grounds for absence may repeat exams, cf. Regulations for examinations at the University of Tromsø Sections 21 and 22.

For further information about work requirements, exam format, and evaluative criteria, see the individual course descriptions on the UiT website.

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a medium-sized research university that contributes to knowledge-based development at the regional, national, and international levels.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a medium-sized research university that contributes to knowledge-based development at the regional, national, and international levels. Read less
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