David Freestone gives a talk for the public international law seminar series. Please note, the recording of this podcast ended before the end. We apologise for the inconvenience.
As the oceans warm and ice melts, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) now predicts a global average sea-level rise of up to one metre by 2100. AR5 also emphasizes that sea-level rise will have “a strong regional pattern, with some places experiencing significant deviations of local and regional sea level change from the global mean change.” These predictions pose serious and possibly existential threats to the inhabitants of low lying islands and coastal areas, and pose challenges for the international legal system to respond in an orderly and humane way to these novel situations. In 2012, the International Law Association (ILA) established a new Committee to look specifically at these issues. This presentation will look at the work undertaken by the Committee to date regarding the law of the sea aspects of its mandate and identify some considerations for its future work.