Class of 2015

Our Ninth Summer Academy

The ninth IFLOS Summer Academy at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea took place from 26 July to 21 August, 2015 and focused once again on the “Uses and Protection of the Sea – Legal, Economic and Natural Science Perspectives” while maintaining our banner for this and future events, namely Promoting Ocean Governance and Peaceful Settlement of Disputes.

Class of 2015 group photo

Participants – Maintaining high Levels

The Foundation welcomed 40 participants (thereof 3 part-time) from 27 different countries from around the world. With nationals from 7 countries not having been represented at the Summer Academy before, our “Global Reach” grew to 112 nations with 301 Alumni on all continents (see “Our Alumni“). Seven of the attendees were selected by the Tribunal within the framework of the Nippon Program; 33 were chosen by the Foundation in cooperation with the Tribunal. With 90 registrations, the number of applications came close to last years record height and the Foundation took note of a sustained high degree of academic qualification and professional achievements amongst the applicants.

The 2015 session was supported by Edmund Siemers-Stiftung , the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) and The Nippon Foundation. 7 individual Scholarships were granted by Ehlermann Rindfleisch Gadow Law Firm, the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR – Michael Behrendt Scholarship), Gujarat National Law University, Ince & Co. International Law Firm, the Jens-Peter und Betsy Schlüter Stiftung für Schifffahrt und Umweltschutz (2 Scholarships) and Watson Farley & Williams Law Firm.

These grants made it possible to award 7 full and 4 partial scholarships. Given the fact that The Nippon Foundation enabled 7 other participants to take part in the course, 18 young academicians, most from developing countries, attended the Academy with financial aid.


As its predecessors, the 2015 Academy covered a variety of Law of the Sea, Maritime Law and related topics and dealt extensively with specific subjects of interest such as marine environmental protection as well as oil pollution and its consequences. As before, a visit to the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg was part of the programme, followed by a reception of our partner institution. Based on the experience from previous Summer Academies, the schedule maintained the distinguishable block on Maritime Delimitation, where the traditional practical workshop with a prelude of mineral and petroleum resources topics was followed by the legal and political solutions. For the second time after 2007, participants had the opportunity to attend a public hearing before the Tribunal – The “Enrica Lexie” Incident (Italy v. India), Provisional Measures – an acknowledged highlight of this session. A copy of the Schedule is attached.


During the four weeks of the program, the participants had the opportunity to meet an impressive faculty composed of over 35 renowned personalities who travelled to Hamburg from many different corners of the world to share their expertise and experience with the participants on a pro bono basis. The Foundation is especially grateful for the invaluable contributions by the members of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, namely President Vladimir Golitsyn, former Presidents Thomas A. Mensah and Rüdiger Wolfrum, Judges Tafsir Ndiaye, David Attard and former Judge Helmut Türk as well as Deputy Registrar Doo-young Kim. Many members of the faculties 2007 to 2014 – legal and economic experts, natural scientists and experienced practitioners in maritime affairs could be attracted to return to Hamburg. A copy of the List of Lecturers is attached.

Open Event – Guest Lecture

The traditional Open Event featured a lecture by Esa Paasivirta (Legal Services, European Commission) entitled “The European Union’s Contribution towards the Law of the Sea”. The session, held in the Tribunal’s Courtroom, was very well attended.

Moot Court

Since 2013, competing in the Moot Court Tournament is mandatory unless a participant is not a lawyer or excused due to extraordinary circumstances. As we maintained four teams, these were challenged to elect a convenor as well as four speakers while the rest of the Team provided legal and other support. The speakers competed in the orals of the Moot Court Tournament held in the Court Room of the Tribunal and gave an impressive performance. Although there was not much time to prepare the memorials and the hearings, the participants came up with well-prepared arguments and sharp answers to the questions put to them by the moot court bench consisting of Judge Helmut Türk (presiding), Professors Doris König, Nele Matz-Lück and Jasper Finke as well as Attorney-at Law Dharshini Bandara. As before, the moot court judges chose a winning Team and awarded a special recognition for best oral argumentation.

Course Diary

In 2013, the Foundation decided that the usual Resolution had run its course after 6 consecutive years. Instead, participants not competing in the Moot Court were asked to keep a course diary and submit a summary. The second Diary (2015), composed by Itzamna Ubeda Cruz (Editor), Flávia Guerra and Rory Shepherdson, is attached.

Extra-curricular Activities

Although the schedule was tight, there was some time reserved for extra-curricular activities. The participants had the opportunity to do some sight-seeing in Hamburg and its vicinity during a very informative bus tour as well as a boat tour through the port and they went to the medieval city of Lübeck. Furthermore, the participants visited the Blohm & Voss shipyard across the river. Once again, the Foundation managed to organise an excursion to Berlin, with a visit to the Reichstag. There were also various social functions; HAUS RISSEN invited the Class of 2015 for a barbeque, Ince & Co hosted an evening at a typical Hamburg sailor’s pub and Frank Leonhardt a reception at the premises of Leonhardt & Blumberg.

Senate Reception – hosted by Hamburg’s Deputy Head of State

At the close of the Summer Academy, the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg held an impressive and well attended reception in the Town Hall, hosted by the Second Mayor, Katharina Fegebank, where the participants received their certificates.

A Growing Network

Although the participants came from very diverse legal and cultural backgrounds they quickly bonded, got along with each other very well and formed a very active and interested group. With their help, the Foundation will try to keep track of all of them to further facilitate networking and add to the Alumni circle founded by the Class of 2007. The feedback given by the participants was in every sense overwhelmingly positive, especially concerning the consistency of the group, the quality of the lectures delivered and the organisation.

Thank You

The Foundation should like to express sincere thanks to President Golitsyn, Registrar Gautier and all the staff members of the Tribunal who have supported the team of the Foundation so well before and during the course of the Summer Academy.

After the Summer Academy is before the Summer Academy