Women in the Law of the Sea Conference

HYBRID: New York + virtual


WILOS banner rev 2


On 10 December 2022, the international community will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This provides a timely opportunity to take stock of the numerous contributions of UNCLOS to peace and order in the ocean and to the sustainable development of ocean spaces and resources. In addition, it is a moment in time to celebrate the particular contribution of women to the progressive development of the law of the sea as reflected in UNCLOS and related instruments.

The International Seabed Authority, in partnership with the Permanent Representation of Singapore to the United Nations, organizes the Women in the Law of the Sea (WILOS) conference to shine a light on the important contribution of women to the law of the sea, the participation of women in the institutions created by UNCLOS and related regional and sub-regional organizations and the pathways to enhance the potential for women to contribute to the law of the sea in the future. Most notably, the conference provides an opportunity to hear from female presenters from developing States and especially from least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small islands developing States.

The Conference will be co-chaired by Judge María Teresa Infante Caffi of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and Mrs. Annick de Marffy, former President of INDEMER and former Director of DOALOS.


DAY 1 - Monday, 26 September 2022

9:00 – 9:50

Opening addresses

  Dr. Annick de Marffy-Mantuano & Judge Maria Teresa Infante Caffi
Session I The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement
9:50 – 10:10 Structure of UNCLOS and contribution of settlement of dispute mechanisms
Dr. Ximena Hinrichs, Registrar, ITLOS
10:10 – 10:30 UNCLOS at 40 and the International Maritime Organization
Dr. Dorota Lost-Sieminska, Deputy Director, Head Legal Affairs & External Relations Division, IMO
10:30 – 10:50 The impact of UNCLOS in materializing the principle of the common heritage of humanity in outer space 
Dr. Fabiola Sotomayor, Head bilateral, Legal section, Embassy of Mexico to the Netherlands
10:50 – 11:30 Group photo & Coffee break
11:30 – 11:50 The effect of UNCLOS on new conventions for governing body of waters
Ms. Sedigheh Zarei, Head of Investment Department, Kish Free Zone Org
11:50 – 12:10 Emerging issues and the contribution of UNCLOS to address them
Dr. Patricia Galvao Teles, Member, ILC and Associate Professor, Autonomous University of Lisbon
Session II      Maritime delimitations
12:10 – 12:15 Remarks
H.E. Ms. Ana Paula Baptista Grade Zacarias, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations
12:15 – 12:35 Maritime boundaries after delimitation
Dr. Irini Papanicolopulu, Associate Professor in International law, University di Milano-Bicocca, Italy
12:35 – 12:55 The uneasy relationship between law and science in the work of the Commission on the limits of the Continental Shelf
Ms. Helga Gudmundsdottir, Associate, Clifford Chance LLP, Brussels, Belgium
12:55 – 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 – 14:20 EEZ/Continental shelf entitlements: Bring reason back and meet half way
Ms. Evi Neophytou, Senior Legal Counsel
14:20 – 14:50 The relevance of coastal concavity in maritime delimitation
Dr. Naomi B. O'Sullivan, Legal Officer - ITLOS
Session III     Military uses of the sea
14:50 – 14:55 Remarks – TBC
14:55 – 15:15 Peaceful uses of the oceans in the era of the militarisation of disputed waters
Dr. Ifeoma Obi, Contracts Management Professional, Siemens
15:15 – 15:35 The feeble line of demarcation between use of force and law enforcement in maritime law enforcement operations
Ms. Chiara Pavesi, Project Coordinator and Research Associate, ASCOMARE
15:35 – 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 – 16:20 The legal issues surrounding the operation of un-crewed vessels at sea - a military perspective
Commander Caroline Tuckett, Royal Navy, UK
16:20 – 16:40 Maritime cyber-attack as use of force
Ms. Foluke Dare, Doctoral Researcher, Nelson Mandela University

DAY 2 - Tuesday 27 September 2022

Session IV        Marine scientific research and transfer of technology
9:00 – 9:05 Remarks – TBC
9:05 – 9:25 Towards a more inclusive marine scientific research
Ms. Lucía Scheinkman, Office of the Legal Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, Argentina
9:25 – 9:45 Some reflections on the interaction between law and science in developing the law of the sea
Ms. Robyn Frost, Assistant Director, Sea Law Section, Legal Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia 
9:45 – 10:05 Importance of UNCLOS for Marine Scientific Research and Transfer of Technology: A practical perspective
Dr. Kirsty McQuaid, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Marine Conservation Research Group, School of Biological and Marine Sciences, University of Plymouth
Session V Protection of the marine environment
10:05 – 10:10 Remarks
Odd-Inge Kvalheim, Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN
10:10 – 10:30 ASEAN's challenge on plastic pollution: Strengthening regional cooperation mechanisms in the sea regime
Ms. Febryani Sabatira, University of Lampung, Indonesia
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 – 11:20 Ocean governance in the South China Sea: with a focus on law, policy and management on marine environment protection
Dr. Nong Hong, Executive Director & Senior Fellow, Institute for China-America Studies (US)
11:20 – 11:40 Turning the tide on remnants of war at sea? Toward the draft principles for protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts
Ms. Kimberley Graham, Member, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law
11:40 – 12:00 Philippines’ approach in the management, protection & conservation of the marine environment, in accordance with UNCLOS
Ms. Desiree Eve Maano, Chief, Coastal & Marine ecosystems management section, Dept of Environment & Natural Resources Biodiversity Management Bureau
12:00 – 12:20 Protecting deep seabed hydrothermal vent fields through area-based management tools: When international law and environmental sciences work together
Dr. Catherine Blanchard, Senior Research Associate, Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea
12:20 – 12:40 The precautionary approach in the deep-seabed mining context: case study and way forward
Dr. Marie Bourrel-McKinnon, Senior Policy Officer and Special Assistant to the Secretary-General, ISA
12:40 – 13:00 Climate Change And Marine Debris: Two Inflicting Environmental Phenomena in One Stroke of Integration (Fulfilling International Commitment through SDGs)
Ms. Orima Melati Davey, University of Lampung, Indonesia
13:00 - 14:30 Lunch break
Session VI     Sustainable management of ocean space and its resources within and beyond national jurisdictions
14:30 – 14:35 Remarks – TBC
14:35 – 14:55 Ongoing monitoring of pollution risks and impacts, a challenge for sustainable ocean governance in Africa: the case of Togo
Ms. Kadjogbe Abra Olanlo, Environmental Engineer in marine and coastal environmental mgt, Togo
14:55 – 15:15 The establishment of EBSAs to enhance BBNJ Cooperation in the South China Sea
Ms. Tran Thi Ngoc Suong, Lecturer, Law of the Sea, University of Danang, Vietnam
15:15 – 15:35 The sustainable management of marine biodiversity in BBNJ: A comparative scrutiny of UNCLOS & intergovernmental conference for the expansion and adaption of international binding instrument of BBNJ Treaty
Ms. Sharda Mandal, Ph.D research scholar
15:35 - 16:15 Coffee break
16:15 – 16:35 Integration of the CHM Principle in the search for a new legal instrument for the ABNJ
Ms. Stephanie Schandorf, Founder/Content creator of Sustainability Tribe
16:35 – 16:55 Polycentric Governance and BBNJ: How Elinor Ostrom can inspire the design of institutional arrangements for the BBNJ Treaty
Dr. Kristine E K Dalaker, Researcher, Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea

DAY 3 - Wednesday 28 September 2022

Session VI    Sustainable management of ocean space and its resources within and beyond national jurisdictions (continued)
9:00 – 9:05 Opening
9:05 – 9:25 Sustainable management of deep-sea minerals within national jurisdiction: the case of Norway
Dr. Sissel Eriksen, Senior Geologist, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate
9:25 – 9:45 ISA commitments on the implementation of Enterprise role 
Ms. Yuga Khanza, Ass. Editor of dev centre research of law and science publication, Faculty of Law, Uni of Lampung
Session VII Settlement of disputes
09:45 – 10:05 Taking stock of the Southern Bluefin Tuna award and its contributions to the settlement of international disputes
Ms. Angela Ha, Associate, Volterra Fietta law firm, London, UK
10:05 – 10:25 Settlement of disputes under UNCLOS: Delivering on the promise?
Dr. Penelope Ridings, Member-elect, United Nations International Law Commission
10:25 – 10:55 Part XI, Section 5: addressing perceived gaps
Dr. Kathy-Ann Brown, Judge, ITLOS
10:55– 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 – 11:50 Foreseeing the State Parties’ DSM and MSR legal dispute:  Is there room to argue for freedom of choice of forum under the LOSC?
Ms. Thaissa Meira, Ph.D Candidate, University of Basel, Switzerland
11:50 – 12:10 Global cooperation towards achieving a truly compulsory and gender inclusive dispute resolution mechanism under UNCLOS
Dr. Madhumita Kothari, Partner & Advocate - Hemant Sahai & Associates
12:10 – 12:30 The UNCLOS dispute settlement system at forty: perceptions, challenges and the glass ceiling
Dr. Lan Nguyen, Assistant Professor, Department of International and European Law, Utrecht University
12:30 - 14:30 Lunch break
Session VIII    UNCLOS and opportunities for developing States
14:30 – 14:50 Coding ocean equity into the BBNJ Treaty: Understanding the role of developing countries in transforming ocean governance
Ms. Jacqueline J F Espenilla, Assistant Professor, College of Law, University of the Philippines
14:50 – 15:10 Developing State and compliance with quota allocation in international fisheries: evidence from Indonesia
Dr. Rachma Indriyani, Ph.D graduate, Faculty of Law, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Indonesia
15:10 – 15:30 UNCLOS and Opportunities for Developing States: Protecting Indonesian Migrant Fishers
Ms. Dhini Purnamasari, Master student, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA
15:30 – 16:10 Coffee break
Session IX Enhancing the participation of women in the law of the sea
16:10 – 16:30 Contribution of women in Saudi Arabia to the law of the sea
Ms. Amal Albawardi, Consultant, Ministry of Energy
16:30 – 16:50 Obstacles preventing women’s participation in the Maritime Industry
Ms. Nasra Juma, High Court of Zanzibar - Judge's Assistant 
16:50 – 17:10 Enhancing the participation of women in the law of the sea: Indian Perspective
Ms. Pratikalpa Sharma, Ass. Professor, Research, Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
17:10 – 17:30 The representation of women in the institutions of UNCLOS; Are women scientists from LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS involved actively in the scientific aspect of law of the sea?
Ms. Johanne F A H Andria-Manantena, Head of international affairs section, national focal point - port state control, Lecturer in maritime governance, Catholic University of Madagascar
  Closing remarks
17:30 – 17:40
  • Ms. Rabab Fatima, USG, UN-OHRLLS
  • H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, Secretary-General, International Seabed Authority