General Information

Young researchers are invited to apply for post-doctoral fellowship under the Chair. Applicants must have been awarded doctorates within less than five years preferably. Applicants' theses may be on any topic within the fields of the law of the sea or port law. The appointment is for a period of one year, which may be renewed twice if the output requirements set by the Chair are met. It is not necessary for the fellow to reside in Nelson Mandela Bay, but preference will be given to applicants who are in a position to do so.

The Chair is partularly interested in applicants who can contribute to current work on the legal aspects of marine spatial planning, maritime safety and maritime security, including fisheries crime.

Letters of application, together with a CV, a copy of the thesis, a copy of other research outputs and a one-page outline of the proposed research, must be emailed to the Chair’s incumbent, Prof Patrick Vrancken, at


Current Post-doctoral Fellows

1. Dr Denning Metuge


Primary Discipline: Law of the Sea


Dr Denning Metuge was awarded the LLD in Public Law from Nelson Mandela University in 2017. His research focused on the incorporation of the 1974 Safety of Life at Sea Convention as amended (SOLAS) survey and certification standards into the Merchant Shipping Act (MSA) and its subordinate legislation. It identified discrepancies and gaps in the vessel survey and certification requirements of MSA in contrast to SOLAS provisions. It then made a recommendation for an amendment to the MSA, aimed at protecting the competitiveness of South African ports and ensuring that domestic legislation is compliant with SOLAS provisions, thereby fostering the goal of the international maritime community for uniformity in the implementation of international standards regulating shipping, including navigation.

Dr Denning took up the post-doctoral fellowship in the Chair of the Law of the Sea and Development in Africa in 2019. As part of his fellowship commitments, Dr Denning is conducting research that will add to the knowledge base necessary for the development of a Marine Spatial Plan for the Algoa Bay area; he is also working on a paper on the exercise of port State control measures by States party to the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for West and Central African Region (Abuja MoU); and is involved in the development of materials for subsequent volumes of the Chair’s book project The Law of the Sea: The African Union and its Member States, by Vrancken, P; Tsamenyi, M (Eds).

Moreover, will be teaching a module on Marine Law and Policy, as part of the Mphil programme in the Department of Development Studies. Dr Denning is also involved in the supervision of one LLD candidate, two LLM candidates and two LLB students for their final year treaties and serves as post-doctoral fellow representative on the management and advisory committees of the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (CMR).


  • ‘A critical review of the incorporation of SOLAS survey and certification standards in South African law’ (2017 South African Yearbook of International Law SAYIL)
  • “Carriage of Goods by Sea–From Hague to Rotterdam: Safer waters” (published dissertations Nelson Mandela University 2012)
  • "Port State Jurisdiction: A South African Perspective" (accepted for publication).

Conference Papers

‘Port State Jurisdiction: A South African perspective’

University of Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela University colloquium, Cape St Francis, 23–24 August 2018.


Last update on 8 November 2019. TS. NH

Contact information
Ms Ammaarah Abrahams
Administrative assistant