SCELG affiliate completes internship at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg

April 2018: Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) Research Assistant Mitchell Lennan has just completed an internship with the Legal Office at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, Germany.

From January - March 2018, Mitchell assisted the Tribunal’s Legal Office and Registry with legal research projects relating to International Law of the Sea and especially the case law of the Tribunal. He also produced an independent research paper under supervision of the Deputy Registrar, and was involved in compiling the Tribunal’s weekly internal Law of the Sea press review with other interns serving at the Tribunal. At the end of the internship, Mitchell presented his research paper, titled “Scientific and Technical Evidence in International Disputes Relating to the Environment” to the Tribunal’s staff.

Mitchell’s time at ITLOS included a visit to the BGR in Hanover: the institution responsible for German research and development in exploration and exploitation of deep seabed minerals. He was also attended lectures at the Tribunal on various aspects of International Law of the Sea by Judges, former judges and distinguished Law of the Sea scholars. These included: international fisheries law, human rights at sea, maritime boundary delimitation, protection & preservation of the marine environment, and dispute settlement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Mitchell also assisted in two roundtable discussions on migrants at sea as well as prompt release of vessels and crews under Article 292 of the Convention.

Mitchell said: “Overall, the internship programme at ITLOS was an excellent opportunity to gain a working understanding of how such an important institution functions on a day-to-day basis. I relished working in an international environment, and had multiple opportunities to discuss my research interests, and the ongoing work on the marine environment and Sustainable Development Goals at SCELG, with colleagues, Judges and visiting scholars and practitioners.”

Prior to undertaking the ITLOS Internship Programme, Mitchell assisted SCELG on an international consultancy for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on the right to water for food and agriculture. Mitchell has just joined the BENELEX Project team to help with research on Convention on Biological Diversity COP decisions - exploring the question: Do these decisions make appropriate space for different world views of indigenous peoples and local communities? He is also in the process of applying for a PhD with SCELG.

Mitchell looks forward to sharing his experiences with SCELG LLM students and alumni during the Career and Partnership Opportunities  on Friday 4th May as part of the SCELG Festival of Environmental Law and Governance.

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