Patricia Vella de Fremeaux obtained her law degree from the University of Malta in 1999. Her post-graduate studies were carried out at Oxford University where she graduated in Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) in 2000. She then returned to Malta to lecture in Public International Law at the University of Malta where she is now Head of the International Law Department. She obtained her PhD from the IMO, International Maritime Law Institute, focusing on combating contemporary threats to maritime security. Her research interests focus on the analysis of contemporary maritime threats, primarily piracy and migrant smuggling. Her book, â€˜Migrant Smuggling by Sea: Combating a Current Threat to Maritime Security through the Creation of a Cooperative Framework' was published by Martinus Nijhoff in 2010.