Image courtesy of Rob Harcourt
Image courtesy of Rob Harcourt

Law of the Sea

Professor Natalie Klein’s research has impacted on different facets of the law of the sea throughout her career. Natalie’s first book Dispute Settlement in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea has been used by government lawyers, judges and practitioners in their day-to-day work. Recently, her work was relied upon in arguments before an international arbitral tribunal deciding on a dispute between Mauritius and the United Kingdom. She has just returned from a conference in Belgium on the South China Seas arbitration between the Philippines and China, presenting her views before ambassadors, government officials, former judges, scholars and students.

In earlier consultancy work, Natalie was an invited member of the Sydney Panel of International Legal Experts on Japanese Whaling, which advised the International Fund for Animal Welfare on dispute settlement options in relation to Japan’s scientific whaling program in Antarctica. She subsequently published opinion pieces in national and local newspapers, and gave radio and television interviews on Australia’s case against Japan at the International Court of Justice.

Natalie’s interests in whales (and tuna) led her to collaborate with Professor Erika Techera (UWA) on a project investigating the conservation and management of sharks under international law, which is currently supported by an ARC Discovery grant. They are among an extremely small group of international law scholars in the world working on this topic and are currently researching a book that seeks to improve the legal tools and approaches in shark protection.

Another area of the law of the sea where Natalie has made a mark is in maritime security, with her monograph on the topic being commended by practitioners and scholars alike. Her earlier journal articles in this area have been widely cited, including in a judgment of the US Court of Appeals First Circuit.

Natalie’s current research has been investigating the status of vulnerable individuals at sea, including the plight of boat migrants under international law. Professor Natalie Klein was invited to join the Australian Academy of Law as a Fellow in 2013.

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