Recent developments in global maritime affairs are reshaping the way governments, universities and think tanks approach domestic and regional issues relating to the seas. Despite being an archipelago with substantial interests in maritime activities like international shipping and high seas fisheries, there is a dearth in direct and purposeful research on ocean law and policy in the Philippines. This is a matter of concern since many other countries, especially in and around the Southeast Asian region, have established their own academic institutions that specialize in oceans law and policy. To keep apace with our neighbors, the UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (UP IMLOS) was founded. Building on the strengths and expertise of the UP College of Law and the UP Law Center in legal research, international law, and international legal relations, the UP IMLOS aims to become the national center for independent research and policy studies on ocean law and other maritime matters of interest to the nation. It will also engage in training and capacity-building, provide legal advice and commentary, and publish its research in the fields of the law of the sea, maritime affairs, and territorial studies. Banking on the academic achievements and professional practice of its members, affiliates, and research associates, the Institute will be known for its collaborative work with the Philippine Government, other governments, non-government organizations, academic institutions, and international and regional inter-governmental organizations, in bilateral, regional and international contexts.
More specifically, the Institute shall:
- undertake inter-disciplinary and comparative research on the law of the sea, maritime affairs, and territorial issues, and for this purpose, collaborate with relevant local and international institutions and offices;
- enhance knowledge and understanding of the law of the sea, maritime affairs, and territorial issues;
- develop and maintain expertise on the law of the sea, maritime affairs, and territorial issues;
- provide legal and policy advice on the law of the sea, maritime affairs, and territorial issues to the Philippine government, non-governmental organizations and private entities; and
- serve as the country’s national center for research on the law of the sea, maritime affairs, and territorial issues.