Dr Youri van Logchem, a member of the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law (IISTL), provided evidence as an expert witness for the International Relations and Defence Committee of the House of Lords inquiry into the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.

The main question this inquiry addresses is whether, almost forty years after its conclusion, this Convention remains fit for purpose. The session was organised around the theme of ‘economic security at sea’.

During the session, which was chaired by Baroness Anelay of St Johns, and attended by other members of the House of Lords’ International Relations and Defence Committee, a broad range of issues connected to economic security at sea were discussed by two expert witnesses; Dr Richard Caddell (Cardiff University) and Dr Youri van Logchem (Swansea University).

Dr Van Logchem was asked to speak on issues around disputed maritime areas (with an emphasis on the situation when energy resources are present in such areas). With regard to this issue, Dr Van Logchem could draw from his recently published book (The Rights and Obligations of States in Disputed Maritime Areas, Cambridge University Press, 2021).

He also spoke on submarine cables, the pressure that climate change is putting on the seas and oceans, marine biodiversity, and new and emerging uses of the seas and oceans. In this latter context, Dr Van Logchem highlighted two issues; first, the melting of Arctic ice cover and the opportunities and risks that increased shipping activities would present in the region; and, second, the challenges surrounding the use of maritime autonomous vehicles for shipping purposes.

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