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Ocean Group

The Ocean Group is one of the Law Department’s society-driven complete academic environment groups, which means that it is organised around a desire to tackle certain societal challenges rather than being based on the logic of traditional legal subject areas. In this case, the challenges are those associated with making human use and interaction with the oceans ecologically, financially and socially sustainable. This entails working with the role of law and wider governance perspectives on activities such as maritime transport, resource extraction, energy generation, and nature preservation.

Based on this rationale, the group today comprises senior researchers and PhD candidates focusing on a variety of topics, ranging from electronic transportation documents, handling of wrecks and inter modal transport solutions, to maritime spatial planning, marine genetic resources, and legal preconditions for sustainable aquaculture - all united by their shared interest in the ocean and its sustainable and efficient utilisation and preservation. As regards traditional fields of law, the research and teaching activities of the members of the Ocean Group span several fields, including law of the sea, maritime law, aviation (air) law, international environmental law, international trade law, international contract law, EU environmental-, climate- and energy law, as well as Swedish and comparative administrative law.

Research Group

David Langlet, Professor in Ocean Governance Law, Chair
Gabriela Argüello Moncayo, Postdoc in Ocean Governance Law
Abhinayan Basu Bal, Assistant Lecturer in Private Law
Brita Bohman, Postdoc in Ocean Governance Law
Lena Gipperth, Professor in Environmental Law
Jhonnie Kern, Doctoral Candidate in Private Law
Niels Krabbe, Doctoral Candidate in International Law
Kristjan Laas, Doctoral Candidate in Environmental Law
Lars-Göran Malmberg, Professor in Public Law
Jonas Nilsson, Doctoral Candidate in Public Law
Trisha Rajput, Assistant Professor in International Law
Aron Westholm, Doctoral Candidate in Public Law
Martina Carlsson, Research Assistant


  • Electronic Transport Records
  • CHANGE - Changing antifouling practices for leisure boats in the Baltic. Funded by BONUS. http://www.bonusportal.org/
  • CodS – restoration and management of cod in the Skagerrak / Kattegatt. Co-funded by INTERREG IVA KASK Fund of the European Union.
  • HITS/AIP project about communication systems and transport of hazardous materials
  • Legal aspects on governance of natural resources. 2013-2016 in cooperation with University of Nairobi. Funded by Swedish Research Council within the programme Research links http://caselap.uonbi.ac.ke/node/2514
  • NICE - Novel instruments for effectbased assessment of chemical pollution in coastal ecosystems. 2012-2017. Funded by FORMAS as a strong research environment. https://nice.gu.se
  • SPEQS - Systems Perspective on Environmental Quality Standards. Funded by Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Coordinated by  Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research. http://speqs.se 
  • Trade facilitation measures and its impact on trade operations
  • ZORRO (Zostera marina restoration). No-net-loss and restoration of marine habitats: Legal and ecological constraints and solutions. 2011-2014. Funded by FORMAS and Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research.

Postdoc Projects

  • Gabriela Argüello Moncayo, Marine Governance in the Arctic Marine Environment. The purpose of this research is to provide policy and regulatory alternatives for managing several challenges faced by the Arctic marine environment, such as climate change. The sensitive nature of the Arctic marine environment requires institutional coordination across different bodies of law at the international, regional, and national levels. The changes that the Arctic marine environment is facing include a variety of conflicting environmental, social, and economic interests and pressures. Dealing with such conflicting interests requires an innovative tool of governance known as ‘marine spatial planning´.
  • Brita Bohman, Legitimacy, effectiveness and ecosystem approach in marine governance. The main focus of this research is on EU Common Fisheries Policy and the so-called landing obligation. The chosen focus reflects some of the main problems with fisheries management, both regarding legitimacy and ecosystem approach. The purpose with the project is first to review the implementation of the landing obligation, its connections to the operationalization of an ecosystem approach on a regional scale, and then to connect the chosen perspectives to a global background of ocean governance. The aim is to find common denominators that may be important to address at all levels of governance, and to identify the differences that the different scales may entail.

PhD Projects

  • Jhonnie Kern, Legal Interests and Conflicts Concerning Wrecks and Wreck Removal
  • Niels Krabbe, Treasures of the deep – Management principles for marine bioprospecting and marine genetic resources
  • Kristjan Laas, No-net-loss, environmental compensation and restoration of marine habitats: Legal constraints and solutions
  • Jonas Nilsson, Governing Sustainable Industries: the Aquaculture Example
  • Aron Westholm, Planning the territorial sea – Application of the ecosystem approach in marine spatial planning

Upcoming Activities

There are no upcoming activities at the moment.

Previous Activities

Seminar Legal Challenges Linked to Unmanned/Automated Ships, 27 September 2018, Professor Henrik Ringbom, Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law and Åbo Akademi University.

International Seminar, 26 October 2017, Governance in the Polar Regions: The Role of Law in Protecting Social and Environmental Values.

International Seminar, 23-24 October 2017, Supply Chain Finance and the Changing Landscape of International Trade.

International Conference, 7-8 november 2016, The Ecosystem Approach in Ocean Planning and Governance.


Ocean Governance Podcast

The podcast is dedicated to discussing recent publications from legal, social sciences and interdisciplinary journals dealing with ocean governance issues broadly construed. 

Listen to the podcast here.

Page Manager: Christine Forssell|Last update: 11/13/2019

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