Climate Change to Maritime Cybersecurity: Legal Response to the Emerging Challenges for Ocean Governance

The maritime world is facing unprecedented threats and emerging challenges from various sources. Marine ecosystems and coastal areas are facing greenhouse gas emissions-induced ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation and sea level rise. The life, property and livelihood of coastal communities worldwide, particularly in the global south, are increasingly vulnerable due to pollution, climate change and unsustainable resource exploitation. The growing impacts of climate change exacerbate the long-standing problems of marine pollution and the unsustainable exploitation of resources. Moreover, the maritime sector is facing other emerging challenges such as cyber-attacks, regulation of autonomous ships, and ensuring seafarers’ rights during a global crisis.

This project aims to examine the response of the law of the sea in combating emerging challenges. In doing so, it will study the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other associated legal regimes including International Maritime Organisation (IMO) legal instruments, Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) legal instruments and the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans (RSCAPs). UNCLOS is an umbrella regime including many specialised international and regional legal instruments by reference. This provides the UNCLOS legal regime with inherent resilience or flexibility. The question is whether the regime successfully uses this inherent flexibility in response to emerging challenges. Therefore, this project focuses on the global ocean legal regime’s responses to the emerging challenges in a resilient and effective way.

Chief Investigator

Selected recent publications and presentations

  1. Md Saiful Karim, ‘Indian Ocean Tuna Commission Climate Change Resolution: A quiet interaction of ocean and climate change legal regimes’ (2023) 148 Marine Policy, article number 105434.
  2. Md Saiful Karim, ‘Maritime cybersecurity and the IMO legal instruments: Sluggish response to an escalating threat?’ (2022) 143 Marine Policy, article number 105138.
  3. Md Saiful Karim, ‘AUKUS and the Indo-Pacific Maritime Security in a Changing Climate’ (2022) Australian Naval Review 51.
  4. Md Saiful Karim, Australia’s engagement in the International Maritime Organisation for Indo-Pacific Maritime Security, (2020) 185 Ocean and Coastal Management 1.
  5. Md Saiful Karim, ‘Ocean Governance, Blue Economy and the Constitution of Bangladesh: Emerging Rights of the People and Nature’ in M Rafiqul Islam and Muhammad Ekramul Haque (eds.) The Constitutional Law of Bangladesh Progression and Transformation at its 50th Anniversary (Springer, 2023) 299.
  6. Md Saiful Karim, Climate Change to Maritime Cybersecurity: The Law of the Sea’s (lack of) Response to the Emerging Challenges and Opportunities? , ANZSIL 30th Annual Conference: Is International Law Resilient? 29 June to 01 July 2023, Wellington, New Zealand.
  7. Md Saiful Karim, Robotics and the Future of the Ocean: The Law of the Sea Encounters Artificial Intelligence, seminar presented at the QUT Centre for Robotics, Brisbane, Australia, 06 June 2023.
  8. Md Saiful Karim, Ocean and Climate Change: The Role of Regional Seas Programmes in the Asia-Pacific Region, New Horizons: The Future of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Conference, 9-10 December 2022, The Australian National University (ANU) ANU College of Law Centre for International and Public Law (CIPL) and the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law (ANZSIL).
  9. Md Saiful Karim, Climate Change and South Asian Ocean Regionalism, Asia Pacific Ocean Law Institutions Alliance (APOLIA) Conference, UNCLOS In Asia Pacific:40 Years and Onwards, 19-20 May 2022.
  10. Md Saiful Karim, Maritime Cybersecurity and International Law, International Association of Maritime Economists Annual Conference – Industry Session Forum on Risk Management and Maritime Cybersecurity for Sustainable Development of Shipping and Trade, 12 June 2020.

School of yellowfin tuna