Law of the Sea Institute moves to Berkeley

25 September 2002 | An international consortium of scholars who have played a major part in studies of ocean law since the 1970s — the Law of the Sea Institute (LOSI) — will now be headquartered at Berkeley’s Earl Warren Legal Institute in Boalt Hall and will be administered by law professors Harry Scheiber and David Caron.

The institute, founded nearly 40 years ago, is designed to promote the concept of a global treaty for ocean governance. Before its transfer to Berkeley, the institute was headquartered at the University of Miami, under the direction of Professor Bernard Oxman. Before that, LOSI was based at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii.

The Law of Sea Institute has sponsored more than 20 international conferences and a large number of workshops. Conference proceedings and working-papers series have long been major sources of scholarship and policy debate about ocean law. Its new co-directors plan to continue the program of international conferences at Berkeley and in cooperation with other leading academic and policy centers. Scheiber and Caron also plan to maintain the institute’s tradition of publications, symposia, and working sessions.

Conference proceedings cover a range of subjects that address evolving ocean policy and the law of the sea, with assistance from university, foundation and governmental sponsors, says Scheiber. The first volume of proceedings will be published by Kluwer Law Books in early 2003, under the title, “Bringing New Law to Ocean Waters.” It will be based on papers delivered at a Boalt Hall conference earlier this year.

At Berkeley, the institute will continue a long tradition of studies in ocean law that began with Professor Stefan Riesenfeld’s work in the late 1930s, says Scheiber.

For the last 20 years, research in this field has been supported largely by grants from the California Sea Grant Program and other sources obtained through a sister research center, UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Law and Society in its Ocean Law and Policy Program.

Scheiber says an international conference similar to this year’s conference is being planned cooperatively with other universities, and is scheduled to be held in 2004. In addition, a symposium on multilateralism and ocean-resource management is planned for February 2003, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the North Pacific International Fisheries Convention.


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