On March 7 through 9, 2014, the Walther Schücking Institute for International Law at Kiel University in Germany will convene a workshop titled "Law of the Sea in the 21st Century: Stalemate or flexibility to address new challenges?" The announcement for the Workshop notes that prospects for amending the LOS Convention are slim, suggesting that this is because of the nature of the Convention as a "package deal," though it would be more accurate to note the high bar established by the Convention itself for proposed amendments to be adopted and the Convention's stipulation that amendments, other than to the seabed mining provisions that require consensus of the ISA council, only apply to the parties that ratify or accede to them.
Speakers for the weekend workshop are drawn from Europe, China and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, with most presenters coming from Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. The basic premise is that future changes and new activities in ocean use will require legal adaptation that is unlikely to come from structural changes int he UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The goal of the Workshop is to "identify and discuss the need for action in contemporary 'Ocean Governance'" and "it aims at identifying problem areas and discussing the solutions in order to develop new approaches to problem areas."
For more information or registration, visit the Institute's LOS Workshop page.
An information sheet and schedule for the Workshop may be downloaded here.
The workshop will provide a window into some European views of the future or law of the sea. As such, it will be worth watching.