From Strasbourg to Hamburg: the Human Dimension of the Law of the Sea

11 June 2018
  • Starts at: 17:30h
  • Fee: Free
  • Venue: T.M.C. Asser Instituut
  • Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Law Faculty of the University of Basel
  • Address: R.J. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22
    2517 JN The Hague
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The special nature of the maritime environment ... cannot justify an area outside the law where ships’ crews are covered by no legal system capable of the affording them enjoyment of the rights and guarantees protected by the convention which the States have undertaken to secure to everyone within their jurisdiction (Mevedyev and Others v. France, ECtHR, 29 March 2010, para 81).

Considerations of humanity must apply in the law of the sea as they do in other areas of international law (M/V ‘SAIGA’ (No.2), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines v. Guinea, ITLOS, 1 July 1999, para. 155).

The above seminal rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) were milestones in the gradual development of case-law acknowledging the human dimension of the law of the sea.

International courts and tribunals are increasingly faced with cases where they are called to take into account the rights of individuals at sea. 

This event deals with legal issues and challenges concerning the protection of individuals at sea. The topic is analysed and discussed from different institutional angles, notably the ECtHR and the ITLOS, and by considering the interaction and complementarity of different legal frameworks, such as the law of sea, human rights law and refugee law.

This event marks the beginning of the new cooperation between the Asser Institute and the Law Faculty of the University of Basel aimed at addressing the ‘Human Dimension of the Law of the Sea’.


Prof. Dr. Janne Nijman
Member of the Board and Academic Director of the Asser Institute
Professor of History and Theory of International Law, University of Amsterdam


Prof. Dr. Anna Petrig
Chair of International Law and Public Law, University of Basel (Switzerland)
Violations of Fisheries Laws and Human Rights -  An ITLOS Perspective

Dr. Marta Bo
Researcher at the Asser Institute
Human Rights at Sea before the European Court of Human Rights

Prof. Dr. Liesbeth Lijnzaad
Judge at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg and endowed professor of Practice of International Law at Maastricht University
Exploring other Approaches to Human Rights at Sea 

Panel-discussion chaired by Prof. Dr. Liesbeth Lijnzaad, followed by a reception. 


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