Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE INL3007

 
TITLE Irregular Migration by Sea and the Human Element of Maritime Security

 
LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT International Law

 
DESCRIPTION This study-unit will be offered as a one-week programme and is divided into two main parts. The first four days of the unit will be lecture-based, while the last day will be organised in a seminar format.

The first part of the programme will commence by introducing the students to the concept of maritime security and its importance for the stability of international peace and security. It will then address the state of play relating to irregular migration by sea and consider ways in which this phenomenon affects maritime security.

The study-unit focuses primarily on two major threats to maritime security which have a particular effect on the dignity of the human person: the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons by sea. It will evaluate the extent of these crimes in specific regions which are especially affected by irregular migration by sea, such as the Mediterranean and South-East Asia.

The study-unit will analyse effective strategies to repress the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons by sea, focusing on the applicable legal regimes and mechanisms found in various branches of international law mainly: the law of the sea, human rights law, and refugee law. Special consideration will be given to State responsibilities such as the duty to render assistance at sea, the obligation to provide for disembarkation of persons rescued at sea, and the protections of asylum seekers.

Specific initiatives to prevent and combat the migrant smuggling and human trafficking by sea and to assist victims of these crimes under the auspices of international and regional organisations shall be discussed. In this respect, the study-unit will focus on the work of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, the International Maritime Organization, the International Organization for Migration, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Criminal Organization, the European Union, and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation.

The second part of the study-unit on the final day of the programme will be a seminar discussing a case study which presents various challenges relating to migrant smuggling and human trafficking by sea. Participants will be expected to apply knowledge gained during the study-unit to a set of facts, demonstrating how international law can be utilised to repress the said crimes, while concomitantly protecting the fundamental human rights of the victims.

This study-unit will be offered to participants in the SEA-EU initiative and LLB (Hons) students as an additional study-unit.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to provide participants with an understanding of maritime security regimes and their significance for the safety of navigation, the national security of States, and the protection of human rights and refugee rights. It is designed to equip participants with knowledge of the applicable international laws relating to the prevention and combatting of the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons by sea. Furthermore, the study-unit intends to make the student aware of the importance of rendering due protection to the human person when preventing and combatting maritime security threats.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Recognise the importance of maritime security regimes for the maintenance of international peace and security;
2. Evaluate the human element of maritime security threats and the international law rules that have developed to protect the dignity of the human person;
3. Utilise the interrelation between different branches of international law in the context of maritime security threats with a human element;
4. Acknowledge the importance of respecting human rights law and refugee law when addressing maritime security threats and the implications thereof for State actions.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Be conversant in critical reasoning with respect to protecting the human element in the prevention and combatting of maritime security threats;
2. Apply learned knowledge to maritime security scenarios with particular emphasis on the protection of the fundamental human rights of victims of the crimes of smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons by sea.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main texts:

- Robin R. Churchill and Vaughn Lowe, The Law of the Sea (3rd edn, Manchester University Press 1999)
- Yoshifumi Tanaka, The International Law of the Sea (2nd edn, Cambridge University Press 2015)
- Natalie Klein, Maritime Security and The Law of the Sea (Oxford University Press 2011)
- Patricia Mallia, Migrant Smuggling by Sea: Combating a Current Threat to Maritime Security through the Creating of a Co-operative Framework (Martinus Nijhoff 2010)
- Irini Papanicolopulu, International Law and the Protection of People at Sea (Oxford University Press 2018)
- James Kraska and Raul Pedrozo, International Maritime Security Law (Martinus Nijhoff 2013)
- David J. Attard and others (eds), The IMLI Manual on International Maritime Law Volume III: Marine Environmental Law and Maritime Security Law (Oxford University Press 2016)
- Guy S. Goodwin-Gill and Jane McAdam, The Refugee in International Law (3rd edn, Oxford University Press 2007)
- Michael Haas, International Human Rights: A Comprehensive Introduction (Routledge 2008)

Supplementary readings:

- David J. Attard and others (eds), The IMLI Manual on International Maritime Law Volume I: The Law of the Sea (Oxford University Press 2014)
- James C. Hathaway, The Rights of Refugees under International Law (3rd edn, Oxford University Press 2005)
- Philip Alston, Ryan Goodman, Henry J Steiner, International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals (Oxford University Press 2007)

 
ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-Requisite qualifications: Participants must have background in international law

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

 
LECTURER/S Felicity Attard
Jean Pierre Gauci
Maria Pisani
Patricia Vella de Fremeaux

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.

https://www.um.edu.mt/course/studyunit