• - March 31, 2023
  • Fully Funded
  • Hamburg

In cooperation with the Nippon Foundation, the Tribunal runs an annual capacity-building and training program on dispute settlement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (‘UNCLOS’).

The full-time program, which runs for nine months and begins in July each year, takes place at the seat of the Tribunal in Hamburg, Germany. Contingent upon the availability of funds, the call for applications is announced each year during the month of February or March.

The program is aimed at junior to mid-level government officials and researchers mainly from developing countries who are currently working on issues related to the law of the sea, maritime law, or dispute settlement. It provides participants with a unique opportunity to develop their legal skills and deepen their practical knowledge of dispute settlement in the law of the sea under UNCLOS.

All participants’ costs, including travel, accommodation, medical insurance, and a monthly allowance, are covered by the Nippon Foundation.

A series of lectures take place throughout the nine months of the program. Lectures are generally held over the course of two days, offering the fellows the possibility of close debate with the lecturers. The faculty of lecturers are drawn from Judges of the Tribunal, Registry officials, United Nations and international organizations, universities, law firms, and other relevant institutions.

Some examples of lectures given during recent programs are:

Dispute settlement under UNCLOS

  • The mechanism for the settlement of disputes under Part XV of UNCLOS with a special focus on ITLOS
  • Contentious and advisory proceedings
  • Giving evidence before international courts and tribunals
  • Provisional measures
  • Prompt release

International organizations and the law of the sea

  • The role of international organizations in the implementation of UNCLOS
  • The work of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations
  • The mandate and work of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf under UNCLOS
  • The interaction between the International Seabed Authority and the Tribunal

Current issues related to the law of the sea

  • Law of maritime delimitation
  • Law of the sea and human rights
  • The Arctic and UNCLOS
  • The establishment of the limits of the continental shelf
  • Fisheries management
  • Marine scientific research
  • Marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction

International environmental law

  • General principles of international environmental law
  • UNCLOS and the regional seas programs
  • The precautionary principle and the protection of the marine environment
  • Climate change and the law of the sea
  • Biodiversity and protection of ecosystems

Maritime law lecture series

  • Maritime security
  • Ship registration
  • Vessel Pollution

International law lecture series

  • Sources of international law
  • law of international organizations
  • State responsibility
  • Law of treaties




  • Participants’ costs, including travel, accommodation, medical insurance, and a monthly subsistence allowance, are covered by the Nippon Foundation.
  • Assistance may be provided in order to facilitate the visa application process.
  • Fellows are provided with a fully equipped office with a computer, printer, and internet connection for the duration of the program.
  • Fellows have access to the Tribunal’s specialized Library, which houses a comprehensive collection on the law of the sea and related subjects, such as maritime law, environmental law, ocean affairs, coastal management, international courts and tribunals, international organizations, dispute settlement, arbitration, and general issues of public international law.
  • Accommodation in the vicinity of the Tribunal is provided in studio apartments, with a bedroom/sitting area, kitchen, and bathroom.
  • During their first weeks in Hamburg, the fellows are introduced to life in Germany and given German language classes. Language training in either English or French may also be provided.


  • Applicants must be between the ages of 25 and 40.
  • Applicants must have a first university degree in law and demonstrate a capacity to undertake independent scientific research, study, and training.
  • Applicants must be:
  1. Junior to mid-level government officials from an administration or government agency, dealing with ocean affairs or maritime matters as well as legal issues relating thereto; or
  2. Researchers from an institute (academic or government) dealing with ocean-related or maritime matters as well as legal issues relating thereto.
  • Applicants must indicate the research topic which they intend to pursue during the program. The research topic should address legal issues of relevance to the State concerned regarding the implementation of UNCLOS, in particular Part XV thereof.
  • The administration or institute nominating the applicant must indicate on the nomination form the tasks performed by the applicant and explain the extent to which the training program will benefit the institution/State concerned.
  • Applicants must have an excellent knowledge of one of the official languages of the Tribunal (English and French) and a working knowledge of the other language. The lectures and activities of the Programme are mainly held in English.
Eligible Regions: Open for All

Application Process

The following documents must be submitted in order for an application to be processed:

  • Fellowship Application Form to be duly completed, signed, and submitted by the applicant.
  • The nomination Form is to be duly completed, signed, and directly submitted by the nominating agency. The submitted form must be typed.

In the case of government officials, the nominating agency should be a relevant governmental body. For researchers, the nominating agency may be the institute or academic department of the university to which they are affiliated.

Nominating agencies are invited to submit two copies of the Nomination Form:

  1. One scanned version of the signed original; and
  2. One electronic version.

The Nomination Form may be preferably sent by e-mail to [email protected] or by fax to: (+49 40 35607-245) or by post to:

Office of the Registrar
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
Am Internationalen Seegerichtshof 1
22609 Hamburg

Conditional acceptance to the program
Admitted applicants must submit the following documents:

  • A medical certificate issued by a duly qualified physician stating that they are in good health and fit to complete the entire program (from July 2023 until March 2024). The certificate must indicate that the admitted applicant is able to travel inside Germany and overseas.
  • A certificate issued by the nominating agency indicating that the candidate is granted permission to travel to Hamburg and to participate in the full nine-month program from July 2023 to March 2024.

Final admission to the program will be contingent upon the submission of the medical and permission certificates. Admitted applicants must submit a copy of the certificates within two weeks of announcing the admission. The original certificates must be submitted on the first day of the program and must be in either English or French or accompanied by a certified translation.

Application Deadline: March 31, 2023

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

For further information please contact: The ITLOS-Nippon Programme Coordinator International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea Am Internationalen Seegerichtshof 1 22609 Hamburg Germany Tel.: (+49) 40 35607-243 Fax: (+49) 40 35607-245 [email protected]
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