Center for Oceans and Coastal Law

Students, faculty and visiting scholars participate in Center research programs. Current areas are: The Gulf of Maine; Global Oceans Policy; Maritime Security; China and the Oceans; France and the European Union; Geographic Information Systems; Maritime Boundary Delimitation; International Straits; Maritime Port Law; International Dispute Settlement; The Marine Environment; International Development and Coastal Communities; Landlocked States; The Arctic; Continental Shelf Claims; the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) at 30.


The Center maintains active research and teaching collaborations with institutions in the United States and abroad. Current collaborations are with the Centre du Droit Maritime et Oceanique (Center for Maritime and Oceans Law) at the University of Nantes, France;  the Hong Kong Centre for  Maritime and Transportation Law, City University of Hong Kong School of Law; Dalhousie University School of Law, Halifax, Canada; the United States Naval War College, Newport, RI;  the Institute for Law and Development Policy, Geneva, Switzerland; The Policy Sciences Center, New Haven, Connecticut. Owing to collaborations with institutions in China, Center Director Professor Charles Norchi has taught Public Order of the Oceans: Claims to the Seas, in the Xiamen Academy of International Law, China.

Through a collaboration with the Centre du Droit Maritime et Oceanique (Center for Maritime and Oceans Law) in the University of Nantes, France under a Partner University France (PUF) grant, the Center has conducted a multinational research project on maritime piracy involving legal, naval, shipping and media experts from the United States, France, Australia, Canada, the Congo (DRC), India, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom; and the autonomous State of Puntland, Somalia.  The project has been presented at the International Labor Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and before the Maritime Piracy Conference of the Hong Kong Maritime and Transportation Law Centre. The resulting book, Piracy in Comparative Perspective: Problems, Strategy, Law, will be published in 2012 under the editorship of Charles H. Norchi and  Gwenaelle Proutiere-Moulion. 

The Center welcomes a limited number of Visiting Scholars whose research interests coincide with those of the Center. Current Visiting Scholars in Residence: Dr. Claude Ichalanga,  Professor of Law at Kinshasa University, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dr. Vinton Valentine, Director of Geographic Information Systems, University of Southern Maine.

Non-Resident Scholars engaged in Center research are: Alexander MacKinnon, faculty of Law at Cambridge University, United Kingdom; Edward R. Girardet, President, Institute for Media and Global Governance, Geneva, Switzerland.