October 2024: Sustainable Governance Training School

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October 2024: Sustainable Governance Training School

Moira L. McConnell

Professor of Law Emerita

Dalhousie University, Canada



PhD, University of Sydney, Australia

Moira L. McConnell is a Professor of Law Emerita, Dalhousie University, Canada and an Honorary Fellow of the Marine & Environmental Law Institute ( MELAW) on the Faculty of Law. She retired from fulltime teaching in 2015 but remains engaged in numerous research projects and supervision of masters and doctoral students in the Faculty of Law and other departments, including the Marine Affairs Programme, as well as working with graduate students at other post graduate institutions. In 2015 she was appointed to the UN World Maritime University (WMU) as External Examiner. A former Director of the MELAW she was a member of the Faculty of Law at Dalhousie University for over 25 years and a member of the Nova Scotia Bar Society since 1990. She has had many important “law in practice” roles in her career including over a decade as a Special Advisor to the ILO in connection with the Maritime Labour Convention,2006. She is also a former Executive Director the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia. Over the last 30 years Professor McConnell has undertaken numerous international, regional and national legal implementation projects related to the law of the sea, maritime law and maritime labour law and remains involved with projects with colleagues in MELAW as well as research and writing for academic publications and studies for UN organizations.

Selected Publications

  • ITLOS and the Tale of the Tenacious Genuine link”, Chapter 11, in Øystein Jens, ed., The Development of the Law of the Sea by the International Judiciary (Anticipated publication Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020).

  • A brief reflection on deconstruction, “digital disruption” and the employment of seafarers” in eds. Olga Fotinopoulos, Alexandre Charbonneau, François Mandin, (working title) Overage. Patrick Chaumette (Anticipated publication Presses universitaires de Rennes 2019/2020)

  • Section editor and author of “Introduction to Part 3. “The Law of the Sea and Principled Ocean Governance” in The International Ocean Institute – Canada ed., The Future of Ocean Governance and Capacity Development. Essays in Honor of Elisabeth Mann Borgese ( 1918- 2002) (Leiden/Boston: Brill/Martinus Nijhoff, in press 2018) at p.115

  • The ILO’s Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003 (C.185) after more than a decade: Ahead of its time or case of good intentions gone wrong?” chapter 11 in Patrick Chaumette ( coordinator) Seafarers: an international labour market perspective (University of Nantes, Gomylex, 2016) 119-173

  • A delicate balance: The seafarers’ employment agreement, the system of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 and the role of flag States”, chapter 5 in Patrick Chaumette ( coordinator) Seafarers: an international labour market perspective (University of Nantes, Gomylex, 2016) 285-334.

  • Maritime Labour Standards”, 2nd edition, Maritime Law (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2016 )

  • Forging or Foregoing “the Genuine Link”?: A reflection on the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 and other strategies”, in The Regulation of International Shipping: International and Comparative Perspectives. Essays in Honor of Edgar Gold. Eds., Aldo Chircop, Norman G. Letalik, Ted L. McDorman, and Susan J. Rolston (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2012).

  • The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 A Legal Primer to an Emerging International Regime (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2011). ( With Dominick Devlin, Cleopatra Doumbia- Henry )

  • Co-editor and author of several chapters in Contributions to International Environmental Negotiations in the Mediterranean Context, MEPIELAN Studies in International Environmental Law and Negotiation – 2 (Athens, Greece: Ant. N. Sakkoulas Publications, Brussels: Bruylant, S.A., 2004). (Author of chapters: “The Convergence of Security Defence Interests and Regional Environmental Protection and their Impact on Environmental Negotiations” ; The Relationship Between Science and Politics in Environmental Negotiations”) Republished 2014 by Bruylant. (co-editor Evangelos Raftopoulos).

  • Course Convergence? Comparative Perspectives on the Governance of Navigation and Shipping in Canadian and Russian Arctic Waters” in Ocean Yearbook, eds., Chircop, Coffen-Smout and McConnell, Vol 28 (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2014, 291-327) ( with Aldo Chircop, Ivan Bunik and Kristoffer Svendsen).

  • Observations on the Law Applicable on the Continental Shelf and in the Exclusive Economic Zone: A Comparative View” in Ocean Yearbook, eds A Chircop, S. Coffen-Smout, Moira McConnell, Vol 25 ( Leiden/ Boston:, Martinus Nijhoff, 2011) 221-248.

  • Observations on Compliance and Enforcement and Regional Fisheries Institutions: Overcoming the Limitations of the Law of the Sea”, Chapter 4 in D. Russell and D.VanderZwaag, eds., Strengthening Canada’s Regional Fisheries Management Arrangements in Light of Sustainability Principles, (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2010) 71-98.

  • “ ‘Making labour history’ and the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006: Implications for international law making (and responses to the dynamics of globalization)” in The Future of Ocean Regime-Building: Essays in Tribute to Douglas M. Johnston, A. Chircop, T. McDorman, S.Rolston eds (Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff/ Brill, 2009) 349-384.

  • Invasive seaweeds: global and regional law and policy” Botanica Marina 50 (2007): 438–450. ( with M. Doelle and D. VanderZwaag).

  • Responsive ocean governance: the problem of invasive species and ships’ ballast water – A Canadian study Understanding and Strengthening EU-Canada Relations in Law of the Sea and Ocean Governance” in T.Koivurova, A.Chircop, E.Franckx, E. Molenaar and D.VanderZwaag, eds, Understanding and Strengthening European Union – Canada Relations in Law of the Sea and Ocean Governance, 35 Juridica Lapponica (Rovaniemi;U of Lapland, 2009) 433-469.

  • Constraints Affecting the Implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Pacific Island States: A Report to the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency and other Pacific Regional Agencies, August 2003 (copy on file).

  • Overview Report on the Development of Regulations for the Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Sulphides and Cobalt-Rich Ferromanagese Crusts, Report to International Ocean Institute (IOI- HQ) and the Korean Ocean Research and Development Institute, January 2003. ( with B. Blazkiewicz)

  • Inter-Agency Collaboration or Inter-Agency Competition – A Challenge for the UN System”. Paper prepared for the International Conference on Marine Environmental Law, Bremen, Germany, April 17-19, 2002 published in International Marine Environmental Law, A. Kirchner, ed., (The Hague, New York, London: Kluwer Law International, 2003) Chapter 7.\

  • Moira L. McConnell, Globallast Legislative Review – Final Report, Globallast Monograph Series I (London: IMO, 2002). http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Environment/MajorProjects/Documents/Mono1.pdf

  • “Neighbourly Relations: Jurisdiction and Crime on the High Seas” Proceedings 1996, Canadian Council of International Law Annual Conference. Reprinted as one of 25 selected papers in Selected Papers in International Law: Contributions of the Canadian Council on International Law. Eds. Y. Le Bouthillier, D. McRae, D. Pharand (Kulwer: 1999) 501.

  • International Vessel-Source Oil Pollution” Chapter 2 in The Effectiveness of International Environmental Regimes: Causal Connections and Behavioural Mechanisms., ed. Oran Young (MIT Press: Cambridge, MA. 1999) 33. (with Ronald Mitchell, Alexi Roginko and Ann Barrett).

  • “Business as Usual: An Evaluation of the 1986 United Nations Convention on Conditions for Registration of Ships” (1987) 18 Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce 435.

  • “Darkening Confusion Mounted Upon Darkening Confusion: The Search for the Elusive Genuine Link” (1985) 6 Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce 365.

Areas of Expertise

  • Law of the sea

  • Maritime law and policy

  • International labour law

  • International Law (public and private)

  • International environmental law

  • Corporate law and governance

  • Administrative and constitutional law

  • Human rights


  • External Examiner, World Maritime University, Malmo, Sweden (2015 – )

  • Co-Editor, Ocean Yearbook, (Martinus Nijhoff (Brill)) (1998- ongoing)

  • Associate Editor, Yearbook of International Environmental Law, (Oxford University Press) (2006-ongoing)

  • Editorial Board, WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs (Springer) ( 2011- ongoing;)

  • Member, IUCN Commission on Environmental Law (on going)

  • Member (Associate) International Academy of Comparative Law ( elected 2009 – ongoing)

  • Advisory Board Member, International Commission of Jurists (Canadian Section) (on going)

  • Member, Canadian Maritime Law Association (ongoing) ; member of CMLA Committee on Maritime Labour and Immigration ( 2018 – present)

  • Member, Women in Shipping and Transport Association ( Canada) (WISTA)