The Center for Oceans and Coastal Law is a teaching and interdisciplinary research center devoted to law and policy of the oceans. Center activities embrace a broad range of teaching and research, seeking to enhance the skills of lawyers and policy scientists as applied to oceans problems from the Gulf of Maine to the seas of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Professor Charles H. Norchi serves as director of the Center for Oceans and Coastal Law.

Through its program of conferences, lectures, and publications (including the Ocean & Coastal Law Journal), the Center builds on a longstanding Maine maritime tradition.


The Center focuses on research in the following areas:

  • The Arctic
  • Armed Conflict at Sea
  • The Continental Shelf
  • Disadvantaged and Landlocked States
  • The International Maritime Labor Convention
  • International Straits of the World
  • Humanitarian Law at Sea
  • Maritime Boundary Disputes
  • Maritime Ports
  • Maritime Security and Counter-Piracy
  • Maritime Shipping
  • Oceans Energy
  • The South China Sea
  • Sustaining American Eels
  • The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Visiting Scholars

The Center has hosted a number of visiting scholars including:

  • Dan Zhang
    The China Institute for Marine Affairs
    People’s Republic of China
  • James Busuttil
    Director, University of London Postgraduate Laws Programme for International students
    Professor of Public International Law and Organization
  • William Brennan
    President, Maine Maritime Academy
  • Issah Fara, LL.M
    Puntland Government of Somalia
  • Edward Girardet
    Editor, Global Geneva
  • Professor Claude Ichalanga, Ph.D.
    University of Kinshasa School of Law, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Professor James Kraska, S.J.D.
    United States Naval War College
  • Michael J. Stepek, Esq.
    Winston & Strawn, Geneva Switzerland
  • Commander Kovit Talasophon, LL.M.
    Royal Thai Navy, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Juanjuan Yuan
    Peking University School of Law, People’s Republic of China


  • Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Center for Maritime and Oceans Law, University of Nantes, France
  • City University of Hong Kong School of Law, Hong Kong, China
  • Dalhousie University School of Law, Halifax, Canada
  • International Law Association, London and New York
  • Institute for Law and Development Policy, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Hong Kong Centre for Maritime and Transportation Law
  • Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, Maine
  • National University of Ireland at Galway
  • Peking University School of Law, Beijing, China
  • United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island