Law of the Sea Institute

Program Director


Harry N. Scheiber
Phone:  510-643-9788




Associate Director


Holly Doremus
Phone:  510-643-5699




Contact Us

Law of the Sea Institute
381 Boalt Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200

Phone: 510-642-5125
Fax: 510-643-2698


The Law of the Sea Institute (LOSI) is a Berkeley Law research center that has played a major part in studies of ocean law since the 1970s.  The Institute has been headquartered in Berkeley since 2002, where it has built on a long tradition of studies in ocean law that began with Professor Stefan Riesenfeld's work in the late 1930s, and has remained fully committed to nurturing the international outreach and participation that had been its hallmark from the time of its founding.

The Institute was founded at the University of Rhode Island in 1965, where John Knauss, Lewis Alexander, William Herrington, and other major figures in ocean policy studies led the organization quickly to a position of international prominence.  Some years later, it was moved to the University of Hawaii where it flourished under the direction of Jon Van Dyke, and then later, briefly, to the University of Miami where it was guided by Bernard OxmanDavid Caron served as Co-Director (with Harry Scheiber) of LOSI at Berkeley from 2002-2013.

Research in this field at Berkeley has been supported with assistance from university, foundation, and governmental sponsors, such as the California Sea Grant Program, the UC Marine Council, the Pacific Rim Research Program, and the Ford Foundation.  In addition, there has been the coordination of activities and varying types of support from other institutions, including the University of Washington and the Fridtjof  Nansen Institute (Norway).  From 2006 to the present, LOSI joined with Inha University (Korea) and the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) to co-sponsor and co-organize a series of major international conferences on ocean law and policy, held in Berkeley, Seoul (Korea), Honolulu, Hamburg (Germany), Istanbul (Turkey), and Wollongong (Australia).

Since its inception, LOSI has published a distinguished series of conference proceedings and books on a range of subjects dealing with ocean policy and the law of the sea.  This tradition has continued at Berkeley with Regions, Institutions, and Law of the Sea: Studies in Ocean Governance, edited by Harry N. Scheiber and Jin-Hyun Paik, published by Brill in 2013.