The Centre for Ocean Law and Policy (OLAP), aspires to be Malaysia's national centre of excellence for research in ocean law and policy issues. OLAP aims to provide timely and relevant advice and policy options as well as to identify key areas of interest for Malaysia's multi-disciplinary realm of Ocean and maritime law that encompass the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) and other related international law, as well as maritime and admiralty law.
OLAP reinforces close working relationships with relevant stakeholders such as the Ministry of Transport, the Marine Department, the National Security Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General's Chambers, as well as fostering links with other local and regional think tanks and international organisations such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and similar entities.
OLAP undertakes the role of promoting awareness in ocean law and maritime legal aspects to appropriate stakeholders and the public, by conducting seminars, training workshops and conferences.
Thrust of Research
OLAP's Key Research Areas cover various issues of national importance such as, but not limited to:
- Ocean Governance
- Territorial and Maritime Boundary Dispute
- Marine Environmental Protection
- Maritime Dispute Resolution
- Feasibility studies on conventions
- Carriage by Sea
- Marine Insurance
- Other contemporary ocean law issues
Additionally, OLAP's continuous dissemination of maritime legal knowledge through seminars, workshops and conferences has triggered considerable interest amongst stakeholders in the country and its researchers are regularly invited to deliver lectures to their staffs.
- National Security Council under the Prime Minister's Department
- Ministry Of Transport, in particular Maritime Division
- Marine Department Malaysia
- Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency under the Prime Minister's Department
- The Attorney General's Chambers under the Prime Minister's Department
- Ministry of Defence
- Department of Environment
- Department of Fisheries
- National Maritime Council
- National Shipping Council
- Port authorities and operators
- Shipping companies
- Shipyard operators
- Maritime support services providers
- Logistics players
For 2012, OLAP carried out the following projects:
1. Marine Electronic Highway Beyond The Demonstration Project: Sustainability and Challenges
2. PCASP: Legal Considerations and Options for Malaysia
(Sharina Shaukat & Melda Malek)
3. Assessing Malaysia’s Preparedness to Accede to the Protocol of 2005 to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA 2005)
4. Assessing China’s Historic Claim in the South China Sea: Implication to Malaysia
5. Improving the perception of value of Malaysian maritime legal services
6. Liability and compensation regime for transboundary oil damage resulting from offshore exploration and exploitation activities
7. Proposal for a separate limit of liability for ships less than 300 tons pursuant to S360(7) Merchant Shipping (Amendment and Extension) Act 2011
To view summaries of the projects, please click HERE
For 2013, OLAP carried out the following research projects:
- Straits of Malacca: Legal and Institutional Framework
- Trafficking in Persons: Analysis of relevant provisions in the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007
- Exploring the Commons: Mining in the International Seabed Area
- Review of Marine Environmental Laws
- Proposed legal and institutional framework for regulation of OTEC development
- South China Sea: A hodgepodge of legal issues
- Joint development arrangements/ prospects in the South China Sea
**To view the description of the projects, please click HERE
Datin Sharina Shaukat
CENTRE HEAD & SENIOR FELLOW
LL.B (Hons.)(Lond.), M. Sc. (Cardiff)
Amy Aai Sheau Ye
LL.B (Hons.), Glamorgan; LL.M (Maritime Law), London; CLP; AMII
Research areas of interest include maritime and admiralty law, marine insurance law, civil liability and compensation, environmental and natural resources law, renewable energy law and ocean governance.
Mok Lay Yong
LL.B (Hons) (Malaya), LL.M (Maritime Law) (Lund, Sweden)
Advocate and Solicitor (High Court of Malaya) - Non-practising
Muhamad Shafiq Ismail
Bachelor Science Social in Geography (National University of Malaysia)
Frequently Ask Question (FAQs) of Centre for Ocean Law and Policy (OLAP)
1. What is ocean law?
Ocean law or the law of the sea refers to a body of public international law, comprising treaties and international customary law, which relates to the governance of the oceans. The main document which lays down the rules governing the oceans is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (LOSC). The LOSC has been described as a constitution for the oceans. It specifies agreed limits relating to territorial seas, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf. In addition to ensuring freedom of navigation, it imposes obligations on maritime nations to conserve the use of marine resources and protects the marine environment by requiring maritime nations to prevent marine pollution. It also provides for peaceful settlement of dispute through a compulsory dispute settlement mechanism and has a revenue-sharing arrangement to ensure that resources of the sea are available for all nations. By facilitating peace and security, ensuring freedom of navigation and protecting the marine environment, the LOSC safeguards the interests of maritime nations whilst maintaining the sea as a common heritage of mankind.
2. How does ocean law differ from maritime law and admiralty law?
Ocean law deals with the governance of the seas and is an area of public international law which covers the relations between governments. Maritime law is an area of private international law and is used generally to refer to laws relating to ships, shipping and maritime commerce. It is sometimes used interchangeably with Admiralty law, although admiralty law strictly refers to matters relating to jurisdiction and the arrest of ships.
3. What is the role of Centre of Ocean Law and Policy?
The role of the Centre for Ocean Law and Policy is to identify key interest areas and to provide second opinion to the Government on the formulation, interpretation and implementation of law and policy to protect and to further Malaysia's interest in the maritime realm.
4. What are the maritime laws and regulations applicable in Malaysia?
- The Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 1952
- Boat Rules, 1953
- Contingency Plan for Straits of Malacca-Oil Spill Control
- Contingency Plan for Oil Spill Combat Team
- Environmental Quality Act 1984
- Exclusive Economic Zone Act 1984
- Continental Shelf Act 1966
- Federation Ports Rules, 1953
- Fisheries Act 1985
- Light Dues Act 1953
- Merchant Shipping Act (Oil Pollution), 1994
- Merchant Shipping Examination for Certificate of Asian Oil Spill Response Action Plan (ASEAN OSPAR)
- Merchant Shipping Examination for Certificate of Competency (Deck) Rules 1998
- Merchant Shipping Examination for Certificate of Competency (Marine Engineer Officers) Rules 1998
- Merchant Shipping Order (Collision Regulations), 1984
- Merchant Shipping Order (Collision Regulations) (Rules for Vessels Navigating Through Straits of Malacca and Straits of Singapore)
- National Contingency Plan - Oil Spill Control
- Petroleum Rules (Safety Measures)(Transportation of Petroleum by Sea), 1985
- Petroleum (Safety Measures) Act 1984
- Port (Safety of Workers) Rules, 1985
- State Ports Rules.
5. Are maritime laws and regulations important to Malaysia?
i. To defend the country's maritime interests;
ii. To promote maritime industries, associated activities, and the well-being of maritime community;
iii. To protect renewable and on-renewable resources to their optimum; and
iv. To ensure a clean, safe, healthy and productive maritime environment for present and future