30 Years of UNCLOS: Past, Present and Future

16 November, 2023

30 Years of UNCLOS: Past, Present and Future


16 Nov 2023    
8:30 am - 11:30 am


Debevoise & Plimpton
65 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NQ

Event Type

Join us for this upcoming panel discussion on “30 Years of UNCLOS: Past, Present and Future” taking place on Thursday 16 November, co-hosted with Debevoise & Plimpton.

Much has changed for the law of the sea in the past decades. The law of the sea framework, as codified in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, was established before increased awareness of climate change and its impacts. Technological advances now permit exploitation of new resources, and international rules relating to issues such as the continental shelf and deep seabed mining are emerging and evolving.

As we approach 30 years since UNCLOS entered into force, this event will discuss where we have reached and the issues that are likely to dominate the law of the sea in the coming years and decades.

  • The first session will discuss UNCLOS’ role in developing international law and supporting boundary dispute resolution, including:
  • States’ obligations pending delimitation;
  • The contribution of and interaction between the International Court of Justice, International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea and Annex VII tribunals;
  • The growing relevance of advisory opinions; and
  • The role of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

The second session will explore how international law, and law of the sea in particular, should:

  • Account for climate change and rising sea levels, including the pressing question of the statehood of low-lying coastal States;
  • Protect the marine environment; and
  • Provide for the exploration of seabed minerals and other marine resources.


  • 8:30 – 9:00am: Registration
  • 9:00 – 9:05am: Welcome
  • 9:05 – 10:05am: First Panel
  • 10:05 – 10:30am: Coffee break
  • 10:30 – 11:30am: Second Panel

Speakers include:

  • Catherine Amirfar – Debevoise & Plimpton
  • Sean Aughey – Essex Court Chambers
  • Conway Blake – Debevoise & Plimpton
  • Stephen Fietta KC – Fietta LLP
  • Toby Fisher – Matrix Chambers
  • Aimee-Jane Lee – Debevoise & Plimpton
  • Alison Macdonald KC – Essex Court Chambers
  • Kate Parlett – 20 Essex Street
  • Amy Sander – Essex Court Chambers
If you wish to attend this event please RSVP here.