International Law of the Sea and International Courts


Students shoud be able to assess the basis of the Law of the Sea and its funamental principles, against the background of the United Nations on the Law of the Sea, 1982. For this purpose, students will study several relevant international legal instruments, in addition to EU Law legislation.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Vasco Becker-Weinberg


Weekly - 3

Total - 36

Teaching language



Not Applicable


  • Armando M. Marques Guedes, Direito do Mar, Coimbra Editora, 1998
  • Donald R. Rothwell and Tim Stephens, The International Law of the Sea, Hart Publishing, 2010
  • Fernando Loureiro Bastos, A Internacionalização dos Recursos Naturais Marinhos, AAFDL, 2005
  • Irini Papanicolopulu, International Law and the Protection of People at Sea, Oxford University Press, 2018
  • Jorge Bacelar Gouveia, O Direito de Passagem Inofensiva no novo Direito Internacional do Mar, Lisboa, 1993
  • Marisa Caetano Ferrão, A Delimitação da Plataforma Continental para além das 200 milhas marítimas, AAFDL, 2009
  • Marta Chantal Ribeiro, A Protecção da Biodiversidade Marinhas através de Áreas Protegidas nos Espaços Marítimos sob Soberania ou Jurisdição do Estado, Coimbra Editora, 2013
  • Nuno Marques Antunes and Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Entitlement to Maritime Zones and Their Delimitation: In the Doldrums of Uncertainty and Unpredictability, in: Maritime Boundary Delimitation: The Case Law Is It Consistent and Predictable?, Alex G. Oude Elferink et al. (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2018
  • Nuno Marques Antunes, Towards the Conceptualisation of Maritime Delimitation-Legal and Technical Aspects of Political Process, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2003
  • R.R. Churchill and A.V. Lowe, The Law of the Sea, Manchester University Press, 1999
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg and Guglielmo Verdirame, Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and shipping interdiction¿, in: The Oxford Handbook of The Use of Force in International Law, Marc Weller (ed.), Oxford University Press, 2015
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Águas interiores, in: Enciclopédia de Direito Internacional, Almedina, Coimbra, 2011
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Área, in: Enciclopédia de Direito Internacional, Almedina, Coimbra, 2011
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Passagem inofensiva, in: Enciclopédia de Direito Internacional, Almedina, Coimbra, 2011
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Plataforma Continental, in: Enciclopédia das Relações Internacionais, Nuno Canas Mendes, Francisco Pereira Coutinho (org.), Dom Quixote 2014
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Portugal e Espanha: que entendimento na macaronésia?, in: As Fronteiras Luso-Espanholas: das Questões de Soberania, aos Fatores de União, Mateus Kowalski and Francisco Pereira Coutinho (eds.), MNE, 2015
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Preliminary thoughts on marine spatial planning in areas beyond national jurisdiction¿, in: 32 The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law (2017) 570-588
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Time to Get Serious about Combating Forced Labour and Human Trafficking in Fisheries, in: 36 The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law (2020) 1-26
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Zona contígua, in: Enciclopédia de Direito Internacional, Almedina, 2011
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Human Trafficking and Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated Fishing: Legal and Gender Implications, in: Gender and the Law of the Sea, Irini Papanicolopulu (ed.), Brill/Nijhoff, 2019
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Joint Development of Offshore Hydrocarbon Deposits and the Law of the Sea, Springer Verlag, 2014
  • Vasco Becker-Weinberg, Ordenamento e Gestão do Espaço Marítimo Nacional: Enquadramento e Legislação, Quid Juris, 2016
  • Wagner Menezes, O Direito do Mar, FUNAG, 2015
  • Yoshifumi Tanaka, The international Law of the Sea, Cambridge University Press, 2019

Teaching method

Classes will be interactive in order to assess the consolidation of basic knowledge and its applicability to areas of specialization both within the Law of the Sea.

Evaluation method


Subject matter

Part I The Law of the Sea

Chapter I The Law of the Sea

1. Introduction

2. Background

3. Development and codification of the international law of the sea

4. Fragmentation and sources of the international law of the sea

Chapter II Maritime spaces

1. Internal waters

2. Territorial sea

3. Contiguous zone

4. Archipelagic waters

5. Exclusive economic zone

6. Continental shelf within and beyond 200M

7. High Sea

8. The Area

Chapter III Special regimes

1. The use of force at sea

2. protection and preservation of the marine environment

3. Marine scientific research

4. Area-based management tools

4.1 Marine Protected Areas

4.2 Marine Spatial Planning

5. Human rights at sea

Part II Dispute Settlement Mechanisms

Chapter I Introduction

1. General principles of international law

2. Dispute settlement and the Law of the Sea

3. Part XV (Articles 279-299 of UNCLOS)

4. Prompt release of vessels and crews

5. Provisional measures

Chapter II Maritime Delimitation

1. Background

2. Evolution and codification since 1969

3. Principles and rules (methodology)

4. Relevant and special circumstances

5. Islands and their relevance

6. Islands and maritime disputes

7. Maritime delimitation beyond 200M

8. Natural resources and maritime delimitation

Chapter III Provisional arrangements of a practical nature

1. Background

2. Rationale

3. State practice