Bristol University law students lead on new Flag State project



9 January 2018

Bristol University law school students lead on new flag State project with Human Rights at Sea


BRISTOL.UK. The University of Bristol’s Human Rights Implementation Centre offers a unique opportunity for students to conduct applied research in collaboration with valued partners through its Human Rights Law Clinic. The nature of the Clinic attracts action-oriented students seeking to gain practical experience and apply their talents towards the advancement of human rights beyond the classroom.

In the Centre’s second year working with Human Rights at Sea, the Flag State Research Project has been established to explore how 3 key flag states meet their international human rights obligation aboard vessels registered under their flag. The project aims to ask questions expected to yield valuable new answers related to the monitoring, reporting and enforcement mechanisms employed by flag states today. For the purposes of this project, the diverse 10-member student research team has been divided into 3 teams of 3 students, with a student leader managing overall progress. The project team is supervised by Dr Sofia Galani.

Though some information on flag state practice in relation to their human rights obligations is publicly available, building a complete and accurate picture of flag state practice will require that the research team critically assess their findings and look beneath the surface of what is presented. It is expected that availability and access to information on key measures of compliance will be limited, and that filling those information gaps will require direct dialogue with relevant organisations. It is hoped that the research project’s database and conclusions may ultimately provide some basis for a general framework with the purpose of assessing the degree to which any and all flag states are compliant with their human rights obligations on board vessels flying their flags. Informed by such research, perhaps further steps can be taken by civil society and the international community to better protect human rights at sea.

The University of Bristol team expects a challenging yet rewarding journey working with an organisation at the forefront of its field, allowing each student to deepen their understanding of contemporary maritime human rights issues and perhaps contribute to the underdeveloped body of knowledge on flag state practice. Together with Human Rights at Sea, the Human Rights Law Clinic of the University of Bristol and its students hope to establish an enduring and productive partnership which contributes to more effective human rights implementation at sea.

The Human Rights Law Clinic –  Human Rights at Sea Team

Human Rights Implementation Centre, University of Bristol


Bristol University Law School team for HRAS Flag State project

Human Rights at Sea Team Member Biographies

Anthony Morelli (Team Leader)

Anthony is a Canadian in the LLM International Law and International Relations programme at the University of Bristol. Following studies in Economics he lived in Japan and went on to work for the Canadian federal public service in Major Crown Projects and at Global Affairs Canada. The opportunity to lead a talented group of students in partnership Human Right at Sea represents a unique way to promote human rights and gain practical experience in pursuit of a career in international diplomacy.

Amelia Berot-Burns

Amelia is a Canadian national currently enrolled in the International Law LLM at the University of Bristol. She did her undergraduate degree at the University of McGill where she focused on geology and political science. Her area of interest is the intersection of human rights and the global resource extraction sector. Through working with Human Rights at Sea she hopes to gain experience in legal research so as to create policy for the Canadian federal government in the future.

Anthony Dillon

Anthony is a Hong Kong national completing the LLM International Law programme at the University of Bristol, where he undertakes study in Maritime Security and International Human Rights Law. He believes the opportunity to work closely with Human Rights at Sea will offer an invaluable insight into the intricacies of promoting and protecting human rights.

Adrià Ferrer-Monfort

Adrià holds both a Bachelor in Law and Criminology from University of Valencia and a Master’s Degree in Crime Analysis and Prevention from the Universidad Miguel Hernández of Elche. He is currently undertaking the LLM in International Law at University of Bristol. His areas of interest are human rights and crime prevention. He is member of the group of researchers of the Human Rights Law Clinic that works with Human Rights at Sea.

Adam Hardcastle

Adam is a 3rd year Law LLB Student from Essex. He has a keen interest in International and Human Rights Law and working with the Human Rights Law Clinic and Human Rights at Sea provides an exciting opportunity to develop his skills with a unique project involving both these fields. He aspires to travel and practise law abroad in the future and work with an NGO or another form of international body.

Stavroula Kremmydiotou

Stavroula studied Law in Greece and is currently a student in the University of Bristol attending the International Law LLM programme. As part of the Human Rights Law Clinic working with Human Rights at Sea, she hopes to gain experience by observing the application of human rights in practice and to contribute to the projects at hand.

Lucie Laffont

Lucie is a French national studying the LLM in Human Rights Law at the University of Bristol, having already completed a Master’s degree in European Union Law at the University of Strasbourg. She has undertaken research concerning the dialogue between the UK Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. After an internship in Prague in an NGO, she wanted to further her experience in promoting human rights. The Human Rights at Sea project is an amazing opportunity to gain a better insight into a legal career in Human Rights.

Paola Rosatelli

Paola is an Italian national currently undertaking the LLM International Law and International Relations programme at the University of Bristol. Before moving to the UK, she did her undergraduate in Political Science and International Relations in Rome. This exciting project represents for her the invaluable chance to put into practice what she is currently learning in the field of international human rights, while also providing her with precious experience to bring into her future career as an international lawyer.

Phoebe Spey

Phoebe is currently in her second year of the LLM International Law. Previous to this, she studied Business and Law, and discovered an interest for International Law, especially Law of the Sea. Having already completed modules in Maritime Security and Law of the Sea last year, this fantastic opportunity of working alongside Human Rights at Sea is going to be an exciting challenge and a great way to start her legal career.

Charlotte Woodland

Charlotte is currently on the Law and Globalisation LLM course, having previously completed her undergraduate law degree at the University of Oxford. Charlotte’s previous human rights experience has focused on the protection of human rights in the situation of cyber operations, and so she is excited to look into the substantially different context of HRAS’s work. Outside of study Charlotte love cats, fine art and travel!


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