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Ocean and Coastal Law

Course Numbers: CZMT - 0990, MAMC - 4990, OCMB - 4900

A hodgepodge of laws and approaches apply to the oceans and coasts and the rights divided amongst private landowners, resource extractors, local governments, national governments, and international authorities. Today a great period of legal adjustment is in motion as many living systems collapse, bearing social and economic consequences. Much ocean and coastal law is already a story of failure followed by rethinking or reconstruction. This background law is now asked to rise to the task of enabling prevention of global climate change, and to the task of adaptation to its impacts which elude prevention. This course is about how law copes with emerging science and policy. It depicts examples of legal success and of disappointment to highlight the mechanisms and principles of law. From the examples, we understand and can recollect how these laws are created, revised, processed into regulations and administered. Limits on agencies and courts to make interpretation, apply science in legal settings, and enforce are evaluated.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  1. Become broadly familiar with the main ideas by which certain major ocean and coastal resources are addressed by law
  2. Appreciate from a study of detail how interdisciplinary approaches of science, planning and law are accomplished today
  3. Increase knowledge of the specific mechanism of law within an interest area specific to the student e.g. coastal planning, coral reef management
  4. Improve personal ability to locate and understand legal regulatory activities about ocean and coastal resources
  5. Engage in critical thought of the significance of key actions affecting national and international ocean policy

Textbook :


Syllabus Summer 2015

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