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Fundamental Challenges for the Law of the Sea

This research project encompasses a broad range of issues related to the law of the sea. From a fundamental perspective, the research will focus on two areas.

First, it will look at the driving factors for the development of the law of the sea, including state practice, the role and decision-making of international institutions and the role and significance of international courts and tribunals;

Second, the project will focus on the interaction of the law of the sea with other branches of public international law, such as international trade law, human rights and international criminal law.

K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the SeaThe project is one of five work packages undertaken by the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, and FNI's main contribution to research at the Centre. The Centre is coordinated by the University of Tromsø with FNI as national consortium partner.

FNI also contributes to several of the other work packages at the Centre, with research on areas such as maritime boundaries and outer limits, international navigation and marine environmental protection. While the Arctic is an important focus area, the research is not limited to Arctic issues, but law of the sea in general.

> More information about the project (on the Centre's web-site)

Project team at FNI
   Øystein Jensen (FNI Project Leader)
   Davor Vidas
   Olav Schram Stokke

Project period: 2013-2019



Jensen, Øystein, The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf: Law and Legitimacy. Leiden/Boston, Brill/Nijhoff, 2014, 316 p.

Jensen, Øystein, Noreg og havets folkerett ('Norway and the Law of the Sea'). Trondheim, Akademika, 2014, 169 p. In Norwegian.


Jensen, Øystein, 'The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters: Finalization, Adoption and Law of the Sea Implications'. Arctic Review on Law and Politics, Vol 7, No 1, 2016, pp. 60-82.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Russia’s Revised Arctic Seabed Submission'. Ocean Development and International Law, Vol 47, No 1, 2016, pp. 72-88.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Maritime Boundary Delimitation Beyond 200 Nautical Miles: The International Judiciary and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf'. Nordic Journal of International Law, Vol 84, No 4, 2015, pp. 580-604.

Jensen, Øystein, 'The Seaward Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles in the Arctic Ocean: Legal Framework and State Practice'. In L.C. Jensen and G. Hønneland (eds), Handbook of the Politics of the Arctic. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2015, pp. 227-246.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Delelinjen i Barentshavet, Svalbard' ('The Delimitation Agrrement in the Barents Sea, Svalbard'). In Sven Holtsmark (ed), Naboer i frykt og forventning: Norge og Russland 1917-2014 ('Neighbors in Fear and Expectation: Norway and Russia 1917-2014'). Oslo, Pax forlag, 2015, pp. 565-575. In Norwegian.

Takei, Yoshinobu, 'The Role of the Arctic Council from an International Law Perspective: Past, Present and Future'. The Yearbook of Polar Law, Vol 6, No 1, 2015, pp. 349-374.

Rottem, Svein Vigeland, 'A Note on the Arctic Council Agreements'. Ocean Development and International Law, Vol 46, No 1, 2015, pp. 50-59.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Review of Nong Hong’s book ‘UNCLOS and Ocean Dispute Settlement: Law and Politics in the South China Sea’', Nordic Journal of International Law, Vol 83, No 4, 2014, pp. 526–530.

Vidas, Davor, 'Sea Level Rise and International Law: At the Convergence of Two Epochs'. Climate Law, Vol 4, Nos 1-2, 2014, pp. 70-84.

Jensen, Øystein, 'The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf: An administrative, Scientific, or Judicial Institution?' Ocean Development and International Law, Vol 45, No 2, 2014, pp. 171-185.


Friisk, Anders Grønstad, Arctic Coastal State Jurisdiction in an Era of Climate Change. Vessel-Source Oil Pollution and International Shipping in Norwegian and Russian Arctic Waters. FNI Report 12/2014. Lysaker, FNI, 2014, 54 p.

Olufsen, Madelen Julie, Havrettsdomstolens jurisdiksjon i saker om midlertidig forføyning ('The Jurisdiction of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to Prescribe, Modify or revoke Provisional Measures Under Article 290(5) of the UN Law of the Sea Convention'). FNI Report 5/2014. Lysaker, FNI, 2014, 42 p.

Lectures and commentary articles

Jensen, Øystein, 'Havrett - en innføring' ('Law of the Sea - An Introduction'), Dictum, Vol 1, No 1, 2015, pp. 20-21. In Norwegian.

Vidas, Davor, 'Fundamental Challenges for the Law of the Sea', Opening seminar of the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea, University of Tromsø, Faculty of Law, 20.09.2013.
 Related focal points of research:

   Law of the Sea and marine affairs
   Arctic and Russian politics

Project funding:

   K.G. Jebsen Foundation
   Research Council of Norway
   University of Tromsø

 External cooperation partners:

   Faculty of Law, University of Tromsø

 Recent relevant FNI News

The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (01.09.2014)

FNI to Play Key Role in New Research Centre on Ocean Law (12.04.2013)

 Recent media coverage:

'Kampen om verdenshavene' ('The fight over the World's oceans'), NRK Ekko, 14.08.2015. In Norwegian.

'Russland har tatt en bit av Smutthullet uten å si ifra til Norge' ('Russia has taken a piece of the Loophole without telling Norway'), FiskeribladetFiskaren, 12.08.2015. In Norwegian.

'Russland vil ha Nordpolen' ('Russia wants the North Pole'), NRK Dagsnytt 18, 06.08.2015. In Norwegian.

'"Arkticheskaya gonka": Chto za kadrom?' ('"The Arctic race": What's behind the scenes?'), Echo, 06.08.2015. In Russian.

'Forsker om Russlands Nordpolen-krav: – Det er ingen annektering eller invasjon' ('Researcher on Russia's claim for the North Pole: - This is no annexation, nor an invasion'), Svalbardposten, 06.08.2015. In Norwegian.

'Zayavka Rossii kholodno vstretsena sosedyami po Arktike' ('Russian application greeted cooly by Arctic neighbours'), Newsland, 05.08.2015. In Russian.

'Russland gjør krav på Nordpolen' ('Russia claims the North Pole'), NRK Her og Nå, 04.08.2015. In Norwegian.

'Russlands Nordpolen-krav er det største så langt' ('Russia's North Pole claim is the largest claim so far'), Dagbladet, 04.08.2015. In Norwegian.

'Spændt klima kan forværre russisk og dansk kamp om Nordpolen' ('Tense relations may impact negatively on Russian and Danish fight over North Pole'), Politiken, 04.08.2015. In Danish.

'- Helt udramatisk at Russland krever Nordpolen ' ('- Totally undramatic that Russia claims North Pole'), P4, 04.08.2015. In Norwegian.

'Russland gjør krav på Nordpolen' ('Russia claims the North Pole'), VG, 04.08.2015. In Norwegian.

'Russland gjentar krav på Nordpolen' ('Russia repeats claim for North Pole'), Aftenposten, 04.08.2015. In Norwegian.

'- Et pr-fremstøt' ('A PR initiative'), Dagens Næringsliv, 04.08.2015. In Norwegian.

'Sandefjord startet Antarktis-æraen' ('The Norwegian Antarctic Era Started in sandefjord'), Sandefjords Blad, 28.02.2015. In Norwegian.

'Who Owns the North Pole? Debate Heats Up as Climate Change Transforms Arctic', Bloomberg, 04.04.2014.

'Grand claims of the Arctic kind', The Arctic Journal, 05.12.2013.

'K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea established in Tromsø, Norway', K.G. Jebsen Foundation News Release, 19.09.2013.

'Establishes Law of the Sea center in Tromsø', Barents Observer, 12.04.2013.

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