Call for presentations: Enforcement at Sea: Legal and Operational Challenges in Maritime Security

PhD and Research Forum organised by ESIL Interest Group on the Law of the Sea

The topic

Piracy, drugs and arms trafficking, migrant smuggling, traffic of human beings, maritime pollution, illegal fishing, protests at sea, are some of the many activities, which threaten maritime security and safety. States but also international organisations (e.g., NATO, EU) and private actors (e.g., insurance companies, ship owners) are increasingly involved in enforcement operations at sea. The legal framework of enforcement activities relies on well-established customary and treaty-based norms, such as the rights of the coastal state in its maritime zones, and the right of visit and the right of hot pursuit on the high seas. The application of those rights to some of the current security threats has highlighted also their limits under the current legal regime, in particular in relation to the protection of fundamental rights and the use of force.

Eligible speakers and event format

This call for presentations is only open to PhD students who are writing their dissertation on the above described topics or related issues, or PhD holders who have defended their PhD thesis in the last 4 years and have been researching on one of the above described topics or related issues. The four selected PhD students and young researchers will have the opportunity to present their current research and to receive feedback by an expert of the field who will act as commentator.

The Application Process

Please submit a 500 words abstract proposal via email to Seline Trevisanut ( by 1 June 2016. Successful applicants will be informed by 30 June 2016 and will be required to submit a detailed outline of their research (min. 2000 words, max. 4000 words) by 15 August 2016.

In addition to the abstract, the following information must be provided on the submission:

  • The author’s name and affiliation
  • The author’s contact details
  • Whether the author is an ESIL member

Speakers will be selected by the co-convenors of the Interest Group (Miguel Garcia, Maria Gavouneli, and Seline Trevisanut), on the basis of abstracts submitted. Only one abstract per author will be considered.

The working languages of the panel are English and French. Since no translation will be provided, participants should have passive understanding of both languages and active understanding of at least one of them.

In order to participate in the Interest Group event, speakers must be members of ESIL. The membership can be formalised once abstracts have been accepted. Unfortunately, the ESIL LAWSEA IG is not in a position to cover expenses for travelling and accommodation, or to waiver the ESIL conference fee. Information on the 12th ESIL Annual Conference is available here: For further information about the LAWSEA IG, please visit: