SHOC – Shipping and Ocean Law Group
Shipping industry is an important sector of Danish economy. It is dependent on expertise in both shipping law (maritime law) and ocean law (international law of the sea), and related areas lying across public and private law dimensions.
The research group aims at providing corresponding expertise in these fields and addressing new challenges to the maritime sector, brought by digitalization, automation and the climate change crisis.
The research group brings together researchers with both private law and public international law background. Whereas shipping law and the law of the sea are traditionally regarded as two separate fields of law, their synergy provides promising opportunities for research in the field.
The research area covers topics traditionally dealt with in shipping law such as maritime contract law (bills of lading, charter parties and maritime supply chains in general) and tort law (liability of the shipowner, and other maritime actors such as offshore facility operators and classification societies for injuries, property damage and environmental damage) and topics traditionally dealt with in international law of the sea, such as maritime limits and delimitation, protection of the marine environment and peaceful settlement of international disputes regarding marine affairs.
There are clear overlaps between the two research areas with regard to e.g. jurisdictional issues (flag state jurisdiction and extraterritorial jurisdiction), off-shore activities, such as windmill projects and deep mining projects, maritime safety and environmental issues, including climate change issues. More recently, the issues of automation of ships, the migrant crisis, the climate crisis and the Arctic have surfaced as important subjects that raise both private and public law questions.
The group also aims at promoting maritime legal research among Danish and international students, the facilitation of international and interdisciplinary collaboration, and the establishment of contacts with the shipping industry.
In pursuing its research agenda, the research group focuses on the following ongoing projects:
- The project on ‘Maritime management, organization and liability’, in collaboration with the Maritime Centre at the University of Singapore. Besides issues of liability, the project also includes research contributions about management of automated ships, sustainable shipping and maritime dispute resolution.
- The Polar Law project, jointly developed in collaboration with some 50 international researchers. Its research focus combines perspectives from international law of the sea with maritime private governance perspectives.
The Research Group contributes to strengthening the research-based teaching in the courses covered by its research area. At the moment these courses are:
- International law of the sea
- Peaceful settlement of international disputes
- Maritim erstatning og kontrakt (In Danish)
Students are encouraged to contact the course leaders and group researchers for supervision of bachelor and master projects.
Head of centre Professor, Doctor of Laws, LLD
Vibe Garf Ulfbeck
Faculty of Law
University of Copenhagen
South Campus, Building: 6B.3.64
Karen Blixens Plads 16
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Phone: (45) 35 32 31 48