Since 1 July 2013, the first incumbent of the Chair is Prof Patrick HG Vrancken who, until then, was the Head of the Department of Public Law. During the last 18 months in that position, Prof Vrancken played a leading role in advising SAMSA, other organs of State and Nelson Mandela University in their efforts to develop the maritime training and research capacity in South Africa.

Professor Vrancken is a member of the International Law Association's Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise. He was the Deputy Leader of the Marine Protection Services and Ocean Governance Lab held in Durban from the 7th of July to the 14th of August 2014 as part of Operation Phakisa. He is the Chairperson of the DHET Operation Phakisa Skills Initiative Working Group for Marine Protection and Governance. He is also a member of the steering committee of the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI).

Professor Vrancken's most recent major research output is a monograph entitled South Africa and the Law of the Sea published in 2011 by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. He is one of the editors of several books in preparation and the managing editor of the Journal of Ocean Law and Governance in Africa, the first issue of which was published in May 2016.

Professor Vrancken's research foci include State ocean jurisdiction, the law of the sea in Africa, transnational organised fisheries crime, port law and marine tourism law. His recent publications include, among others:

"Articles 312-316", "Annex IV, articles 1-13" and "Annex VI, articles 1-19 and 35-41" in A Proelss (ed) United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Commentary Munich: Verlag CH Beck (2017)

"The delimitation of maritime boundaries on Africa’s eastern seaboard" (2016) 1 Journal of Ocean Law and Governance in Africa 54-104 (with SY Ntola)

"Birth, marriage and death at sea" (2015) 40 South African Yearbook of International Law (forthcoming) (with F Marx)

"GATT", "ICAO", "UNCLOS" and "World Summit on Sustainable Development" entries in C Cater, B Garrod & T Low (eds) Encyclopedia of Sustainable Tourism (2015)

"International Law of the Sea in South Africa" in E de Wet, H Hestermeyer & R Wolfrum (eds) The Reception of International Law in South Africa – Strengthening the Rule of Law by Following the German Model? (2015) 144-179

"Land sovereignty and LOSC: The Chagos Marine Protected Area Arbitration (Republic fo Mauritius v United Kingdom)" (2014) 39 South African Yearbook of International Law 105-134

"Marine and Maritime Law in South Africa" in N Funke, M Claassen, R Meissner & K Nortje (eds) Reflections on the State of Research and Technology in South Africa’s Marine and Maritime Sectors Pretoria: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (2014) 18-42 (with A Pike)

"The role of the African Union in combating piracy" (2014) spec ed 1 Acta Criminologica 53-75

Contact information
Ms Ammaarah Abrahams
Administrative assistant