International Resources Law

Subject LAWS70395 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

November, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available




Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email or phone +61 3 8344 6190.

Alternatively, visit our website:

Subject Overview:

The importance of international resources, such as fossil fuels (oil and gas) and metals in the ocean floor and polar regions or the geostationary orbit for satellites, has progressively increased over the last 30 years due to an increasingly globalised world. New technologies, increased need for new resources, climate change and exotic tourism, driven by a tripling of the global economy over the next 30 years, mean that their importance will increase dramatically in the years to come. Management of these increasingly valuable resources is a rapidly developing area of international law that will affect many different areas of commerce and the law in the decades to come. This subject provides a unique opportunity to learn about this rapidly developing area of the law from two international lawyers with practical experience in the field.

Principal topics will include:

  • What are international areas, their importance and future trends in their use
  • The historical development of regulations governing the use of international areas and their resources, such as fishing, oil and gas extraction and access to orbits
  • Law governing major international areas and their natural resources, including:
    − High seas
    − Deep seabed
    − Antarctica
    − Outer space
  • Current issues and developments, in particular:
    − Management of resources in the deep seabed, continental shelf, polar regions and celestial bodies
    − Equitable access to outer space orbits, especially the geostationary orbit
    − Challenges of tourism in the deep sea, outer space and Antarctica
    − Environmental impacts of human activities (polar melting space debris; ocean fertilisation; marine pollution and dumping)
    − New and emerging uses of these areas (e.g. use of genetic resources of the deep seabed and Antarctica).

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

• Understand the importance of international areas and the types of human activities, including commercial activities, that are undertaken in these places
• Understand the concepts and principles of the international law and policy that govern human activities in these areas
• Be able to critically analyze the international case law and policy arising from the use of these areas and their natural resources
• Understand the limitations of international law in regulating human activities in these areas
• Develop critical thinking, legal research and academic writing through evaluating questions concerning the relevant international law and policy.


Class presentation (10%)

8,000 word research paper (90%) (21 February 2013) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

Download PDF version.