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Unit information: Maritime Security in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Maritime Security
Unit code LAWDM0126
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Galani
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit will examine the concept of maritime security, the legal framework applicable to maritime security threats and the way states and international organisations have relied upon it to achieve the security of the world’s oceans and seas. The unit has four thematic areas that focus on national security, human security, marine safety and economic development. The impact of the various maritime security threats, such as piracy, maritime terrorism, illegal fishing and marine pollution on the four thematic areas will be closely examined. The aim of the unit is to cover issues of maritime security across the different regions of the world, including Europe, South East Asia, the Indian Ocean, Africa and Latin America. Particular attention will be paid to the interplay between the international law of the sea and maritime security as well as the role of international organisations, such as NATO, the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU) and the Association of South East Asian States (ASEAN) in the promotion of maritime security.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this module students are expected to be able to:

  1. Evaluate the interplay between the law of the sea and maritime security
  2. Evaluate the meaning of maritime security and the development of regional strategies and agreements aimed at tackling maritime security threats
  3. Engage with the legal and political aspects of traditional maritime security threats, such as piracy, maritime terrorism and IUU, and emerging maritime security threats, such as the robotics evolution
  4. Critically evaluate the rights and duties of flag, coastal and port States and the shipping industry in promoting maritime security

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Details

2 x summative assessments: 2x coursework with a specified word count (50% each)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

  • N Klein, Maritime Security and the Law of the Sea (OUP, 2011)
  • MD Evans & S Galani, Maritime Security and the Law of the Sea Help or Hindrance? (EE, 2020)
  • D Guilfoyle, Shipping Interdiction and the Law of the Sea (OUP, 2011)
  • E Papastavridis, The Interception of Vessels on the High Seas: Contemporary Challenges to the Legal Order of the Oceans (Hart, 2013)
  • Y Tanaka, The International Law of the Sea (CUP, 2015)
  • P Koutrakos & A Skordas (eds.), The Law and Practice of Piracy at Sea (Hart, 2014)