November, 2021

202111Nov2:00 AM3:00 AMUnmaking the Ocean: A Law of the Sea for the Anthropocene2:00 AM - 3:00 AM AST Organizer: Linnean Society of London Region:OnlineTopic:Ocean PolicyCost:No CostConfidence:High TagsFree,online,Weekday


Images from around the world reveal to us an ocean that is in a perilous state. But, in the paraphrased words of Tina Turner’s famous song, what’s the law got to do with it?

In this talk, tracing the co-production of the ocean and international law from 1945 to the present, Dr Surabhi Ranganathan will unpack how a particular extractive imaginary became universalised through an oceanic ‘constitution’, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Her talk will dwell on the postcolonial moment in which this convention was negotiated, between more than 150 states and 5,000 government officials, scientists, lawyers, and civil society representatives, and draw out the ways in which it gave shape to the ocean of today, producing legal classifications to re-describe and remake the natural world.

She will then turn to the ongoing law making of the present day that seeks to update this oceanic constitution, for the goals of deep seabed mining, and protection and use of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. Here, discussing on the directions of that these efforts are taking, the talk will reflect on the gaps between likely and desirable future directions for the law of the sea.

Surabhi Ranganathan is an Associate Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge, and Co-Acting Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. Her research on the oceans, and the history and politics of international law and global governance, has been published in the European Journal of International Law, the British Yearbook of International Law, the American Journal of International Law and the Journal of the History of International Law, and as a monograph, Strategically Created Treaty Conflicts and the Politics of International Law, by Cambridge University Press. Ranganathan is an Adjunct Professor at the Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea, Tromso, and is a member of the Conseil Scientifique of the Centre for History and Economics, Paris. This event will be held online on Zoom. Joining link will be sent out 24 hours before the event start.


Thursday, November 11 - 2:00am 2021 - Thursday, November 11 - 3:00am 2021


Linnean Society of London

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