Conference on Operational Maritime Law 2019

The time has arrived for the Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters (COE CSW), in cooperation with the Spanish Navy, to announce the 7th Conference on Operational Maritime Law!

The overall aim remains unchanged: to specifically identify legal positions among experts which may support current operations and contribute to the planning and executing of prospective operations.

The Conference will be held from 23 to 26 September 2019 on the premises of “Centro Superior de Estudios de la Defensa Nacional – CESEDEN”, the Spanish Center for National Defense Studies, located in the lively capital city of Madrid, ESP. After the enormous success of previous conferences, we are once again pleased to gather naval operators, legal experts, members of civil society and academics for another interesting, stimulating, and educational exchange of views and for vivid discussions.

The Chief of the German Navy, Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, will join us for the conference dinner. We are happy to welcome him back, as he was the keynote speaker at the 1st Conference on Operational Maritime Law 2012 in Northwood, GBR.

The Chief of the Spanish Navy, Admiral General Teodoro López Calderón will provide the host nation welcome address.

Professor James Kraska, Chair of the Stockton Center, U.S. Naval War College and Visiting Professor Harvard Law School, will kick off the conference with a keynote speech.

This year’s Conference will feature the following themes:

  • The Freedom of the Seas and The Freedom of Navigation
    We will be diving in with a historical outlook on this topic, and then transition into an exploration of the legal challenges of today.
    Professor Sean Henseler
    from U.S. Naval War College, Rhode Island, USA, will lead the panel and provide an overview of the history of the freedom of the seas. He will be followed inter alia by Professor David Garcia Hernan, Chair of Modern History, CARLOS III University, Madrid, Spain, Professor Steven Haines, University of Greenwich, Greenwich, GBR, Professors David Letts and Philipp Drew from Military and Security Law at the Australia National University, Canberra, AUS.
    Closing out the panel, we have Professor Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, Europa Universtity Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, on the genesis of the laws modern naval warfare, and LTCOL ESP A José Miguel Alía Plana, Spanish Navy Legal Advisor, Ferrol, Spain Ms. Margaret Lawrynowicz, CIV USA N JAG code-10 Pentagon, Washington D.C., USA, Mr. Pete Pedrozo, Principal Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, US Indo-Pacific Command, Honolulu, presenting on today’s challenges.
  • New Waterways and Special Regimes
    Our discussion will include a range of legal challenges associated with new canal projects and old waterways, including the Suez Canal, The Turkish Straits, the Panama Canal and the Kerch Strait and the Azov Sea.
    CAPT USA CG Cassie Kitchen
    from Washington D.C., USA, will lead the panel, provide an overview for the proceeding presentations and discuss the Chinese String of Pearls - The Thai Canal and other projects. Inter alia, she will be joined by CAPT GBR N Antony Stockbridge from the Royal Navy, Mr. Wayne Raabe, US EUCOM J9 Stuttgart, Germany, CDR FRA N Adrien Proal, Officer in charge of Legal studies at the Inspection of the French Navy in Paris, FRA, and CDR NLD N Dr. Martin Fink from the Royal Netherlands Navy.
  • Unmanned Maritime Systems
    This panel will focus on law considerations and legal challenges in current and future operations of Unmanned Maritime Systems in the maritime domain.
    Mr. Brian Wilson
    , Deputy Director, Global Maritime Operational Threat Response Coordination Center, Washington D.C., USA, will lead this panel and provide an overview of the presentations. Maj ESP A Rafael Gutiérrez de la Cámara, LEGAD NATO JFC Naples, Italy, presenting on unmanned systems and the use of force.
    He will be followed by Professor Natalie Klein from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, AUS, Professor Anna Petrig, from the University of Basel, CHE, Dr. Dorota Lost-Sieminska from the International Maritime Organization, London, GBR, and Mr. Uwe Althaus, Chief LEGAD, German Bundeswehr Joint Forces Operations Command, Potsdam, Germany. Concluding the panel, Professor Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg will discuss the role of Unmanned Maritime Systems in naval warfare.
  • Artificial Intelligence & Robotics
    We will close out the conference with a panel on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The panel will be the beginning of a series that will focus on AI, with a look into the following questions. What is AI? What is the technology that is being used in the maritime domain? How do law and ethics deal with these new challenges? These are all questions that must be answered in the coming years!
    Professor Iben Yde, Assistant Professor at Royal Danish Defence College Copenhagen, DNK will lead this panel and oversee interesting discussions on this brand new topic. The roboticist and roboethicist Professor Ronald Arkin, Regents' Professor, Director of Mobile Robot Laboratory, School of Interactive Computing, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA, will present on Lethal Autonomous Weapons and the Plight of the Noncombatant. Amongst other speakers,  Dr. Michael Linden-Vørnle, Astrophysicist and Chief Adviser at the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark, and Head of DTU Space Drone Center, Copenhagen, DNK, will present on military uses of AI in the maritime domain, Maj USA AF Matt "Jerry" Voke, United States Special Operations Command, Tampa, USA will give us first insights on AI in the future of Multi-Domain Operations and Ms. Daphne Eviatar, Director, Security & Human Rights Program, Amnesty International, New York, USA will explore human rights and ethics issues.

 Download Agenda

Any questions? Send us an email at:

The registration deadline is 13 September 2019.

Contact us | © Deutsche Marine