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Combating a Current Threat to Maritime Security through the Creation of a Cooperative Framework
A number of rules of the international law governing the oceans were created at a time far removed from the challenges of the present day. The principle of the freedom of the high seas and its corollary of flag State exclusivity are archetypical examples of this. Today these rules may appear to be obstacles in the effort to combat a number of contemporary maritime threats such as migrant smuggling by sea. This study examines this multi-faceted threat to maritime security against the backdrop of the current international legal framework and State practice in order to establish whether this threat can be effectively addressed within the existing framework of the law of the sea.


In the opening sequence of her Nexus Lecture, Borgese was quick to acknowledge an almost life-long preoccupation of hers with the “problem of being a woman in our Western culture”. Furthermore, she considered that the Oceans would serve as a “great laboratory for the making of a new world order” and, as such, presented an opportunity for utopian ideas of world governance to be “tested in the arena of real politics”. This approach came to characterize Borgese’s subsequent contributions to the law of the sea. If in the context of the LOSC a community based approach ultimately prevailed over more State-centric attitudes, this was to be properly construed as the reflection of a much grander ideal. Borgese, in fact, celebrated the LOSC as a promise of a new socio-political map. Most relevantly, however, in her own final analysis of the “years of [her] life”, Borgese reaffirmed her unwavering belief that “the new emphasis on community and on cooperation, coupled with technological developments, will also enhance a new gender balance”. This chapter delves into the above as well as trace Borgese’s immense contribution to the development of the Law of the Sea as we know it today, including her contribution through the Pacem in Maribus series of conferences and the establishment of the International Ocean Institute.

In: Gender and the Law of the Sea