"Making the sea more human"

The project focuses on rebuilding the concepts of maritime and ocean law, given the expansion of human activities at sea. The sea is one of our new frontiers. The development of human activities at sea has led to a transformation of the Law of the Sea and Maritime Law. The main purpose of law is to civilize the new activities opened up by technological innovations. But maritime law remains centred on the concept of the ship, and does not take into account the new marine vessels and their workers. The development of illegal activities at sea questions the competence of States and their cooperation.

The HUMAN SEA project will provide critical assessment and perspectives on legal framework related to merchant navy globalisation, illegal activities at sea, and offshore activities. It will summarize the current law concerning international maritime labour in the merchant navy; then consider how the fight against illegal activities led to monitoring of marine areas, thanks to new technologies and through the cooperation of states; then bring the look on ways of managing oil and gas offshore platforms and large liners. Future activities, such as living on the sea, will be considered. Technical innovations predict the development of such use, but the legal framework remains to conceive. The final, overarching task, of the project consists in a conceptual synthesis to define the common principles to be applied for a new maritime law that takes into account activities at sea in their human, environmental, economical and technological dimensions. Such an ambitious project calls for expertise in various domains of law, i.e. Social Law, Economic Law and Environmental Law.

The development of human activities at sea requires rethinking concepts rooted in the history of maritime navigation and the very notion of ship and sea, for example. How should we view the twenty-first century civilization through the laws of these new activities at sea?