Centre at UiT continues to solve international Law of the Sea dilemmas


Science and society

The KG Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea has been renamed the Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea (NCLOS). With 71% of the earth’s surface covered by oceans, and with global warming changing the marine environment, knowledge on the Law of the Sea is in great demand.

By: Trude Haugseth Moe // UiT The Arctic University of Norway

“The Law of the Sea, will continue to be very relevant in the foreseeable future,” says Tore Henriksen, professor and the leader of NCLOS. “Seventy-one percent of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans, and with climate change, new issues that need to be resolved arise continuously, for example concerning access to and use of the ocean and its resources.”

The Centre was renamed in September 2019, when the six-year funding period from Stiftelsen KG Jebsen ended. NCLOS is part of the Faculty of Law at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, in Tromsø.

“We will continue at the same speed and scale as before,” affirms Professor Tore Henriksen.

The Centre currently has 32 employees of nine different nationalities. It is the world’s largest Law of the Sea research centre and is increasingly receiving international acknowledgment and attention.

“Researchers from all over the world contact us. More and more want to cooperate, come here for research stints, apply for jobs with us, or invite us to hold presentations at conferences,” says Henriksen.

Clarifying ecosystem rights and protection

Major parts of the oceans are located outside national jurisdiction, and hence there is a need to find solutions and make agreements.

What happens, for instance, when fish that previously lived within a state’s maritime borders find new areas to live due to increasing temperatures, and suddenly are in waters outside the jurisdiction of any state. Who has the right to fish?

 

“As the effects of climate change are already evident, there is a strong need to protect areas and ecosystems in the sea – like the coral reefs – so that they can survive. Thus, we need to have regulations in place,” explains Henriksen.

He himself could not have wished for any better workplace.

“The Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea is an amazing place to work, with exciting research tasks in a positive and inspiring international work environment,” the leader of the Centre concludes happily.

Known worldwide

Dr Anne Husebekk, rector of UiT The Arctic University of Norway, is also pleased to keep the Law of the Sea Centre at the University.

“The Centre for the Law of the Sea is a major and important initiative, funded in collaboration with the foundation Stiftelsen KG Jebsen in Bergen. This external funding has given the Centre an opportunity to employ exciting researchers, educate many PhD candidates and postdocs, and establish extensive international collaboration. The Centre is known worldwide. With time, the Centre will hopefully also receive funding from new external actors,” says Anne Husebekk.

The Centre currently has 32 employees of nine different nationalities. It is the world’s largest Law of the Sea research centre and is increasingly receiving international acknowledgment and attention.

The Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea in numbers

Started

1 September 2013 as KG Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea

Employees

23, of 9 different nationalities.

Funding

36 million NOK from the KG Jebsen Foundation. Currently funded by UiT The Arctic University of Norway / The Faculty of Law at UiT.

PhDs

Eight so far, nine ongoing PhD projects.

Publications

As of 31 September 2019: more than 160 articles, around 125 chapters in anthologies, 9 monographs (8 forthcoming), and 5 anthologies (6 forthcoming).

Conferences, workshops, outreach

Nearly 50 conferences/workshops, two international summer schools for PhDs, media presence, dissemination activities to the public at large, and around 50 blog posts on the JCLOS blog.