SOAS University of London

Colonialism, Empire and International Law

International Law and the Protection of People at Sea

Irini Papanicolopulu
Irini Papanicolopulu

Date: 5 October 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 5 October 2017Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT)

Type of Event: Presentation

Marine spaces, be they the waters close to the coast or the vast oceans, are increasingly used by humankind as a transport route, an economic resource, a door towards safety and a major area for recreation, as well as for uses that do not fall into our intuitive notion of the ‘maritime’. All sea uses presuppose the presence of people and their increase may only result in a corresponding increase in the number of people at sea.

Starting from the axiom that these people need to be protected against many threats, the presentation will examine whether international law, as currently understood, ensures adequate protection. There are numerous structural, procedural and substantive rules that can be used towards this aim. The presentation will focus on how these rules regulate the scope of State duties towards people at sea, as well as how they affect the content of these duties, adapting generic human rights requirements to the special nature of the marine environment. 

Irini Papanicolopulu is Associate Professor of International Law at the University of Milano-Bicocca. She has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow and a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Oxford.

She has published widely in international law, including law of the sea and human rights. Recent publications include “Human Rights and the Law of the Sea”, in Attard, Fitzmaurice, Martinez (eds), IMLI Manual on International Maritime Law. The Law of the Sea (Vol. 1), Oxford University Press, 2014; “International Judges and the Protection of Human Rights at Sea”, in Boschiero & Scovazzi (eds.), International Courts and the Development of International Law, Asser Press, 2013; “Hirsi Jamaa v. Italy”, in American Journal of International Law, 2013; “The Law of the Sea Convention: No Place for Persons?”, in International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, vol. 27, 2012. Her book on “International Law and the Protection of People at Sea (OUP 2018) is forthcoming.

Irini has been invited to present papers and lectures at universities in the UK, Italy and other countries around the world. Among others, she has lectured at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, the Institute for Advanced Defence Studies (IASD) of the Italian Ministry of Defence, the Oxford International Law Course for Military Lawyers, the Italian Red Cross Committee meetings and the San Remo International Institute of Humanitarian Law.