The sea as last frontier? Towards a maritime litigation observatory

Alina Miron, a researcher in international law at the Jean Bodin Centre of the University of Angers, receives support from the Alliance Europa Institute for European and Global Studies for her project from 2017 to February 2022.


The seas and oceans are one of the last great frontiers to be explored and conquered. A largely unknown territory, which conceals important natural riches in its abyss and a major geostrategic interest on its surface. It is an essential part of the world's major communication networks (via submarine cables) and a central element in the hyperconnectivity of our societies.

On its surface, this space alone represents the globalisation of the economy by concentrating the majority of the world's goods traffic. This central position in the world economy signals even more clearly than a few decades ago how important it is for the major powers to control the seas and oceans.

However, this new frontier is a fragile ecosystem, involved in the issues of global warming, depletion of natural resources, the patentability of life, and pollution of the planet. It is an area whose future depends on reasonable and reasoned exploitation.

The exact delimitation of these maritime spaces is a matter of legal security, as coastal states have sovereign rights and obligations only in their territorial sea, as an exclusive economic zone, and on their continental shelf. The issue is also of direct concern to the European Union, since it exercises many of its exclusive competences (fisheries, navigation, marine safety and security, and environmental protection) jointly with its Member States.

Litigation in the law of the sea is now protean, and the European Union is therefore concerned in several ways. However, there is no regular monitoring of this area in French universities.

Project leader



Associate Professor of Public International Law at the Jean Bodin Centre, University of Angers

Her research focuses more specifically on the law of the sea, international litigation, targeted sanctions and the application of international law in the domestic legal order. She also works as a legal consultant.

– Within Alliance Europa:

Alina Miron is the initiator of the project: “The sea as last frontier? Towards an observatory of maritime litigation”, financed by the Attractiveness programme of Alliance Europa.

She is co-director of the Master 2 in International and European Law and takes part in education activities supported by Alliance Europa, such as the interdisciplinary module (coordination of sub-module 2: Europe, a land of exile and migration). In 2018, she organised in Angers the Concours Rousseau, the most important international mooting competition in the French-speaking world.

Centre Jean Bodin

Centre Jean Bodin

The Jean Bodin Centre at the University of Angers is a research laboratory in law and political science. In 2008, the laboratory was awarded the status of welcoming team (CJB UPRES EA n°4337), for which it had applied in November 2006, by the Lettres Langues Sciences Humaines et Sociales (LL-SHS) research centre. This team (private law, public law, history of law, political science) includes 49 teacher-researchers and researchers, 42 PhD students and 3 administrative staff (BIATSS).

University of Angers

University of Angers

The University of Angers offers master courses in law, economics and management and contributes to the research areas of the Institute for European and Global Studies.