International Law

International Law
I am one of a handful of Australasian lawyers to have appeared as legal counsel before an International Tribunal.

I was awarded a doctoral scholarship through the Maritime Institute, Department of Public International Law, University of Ghent in 2005, and I am member of the Institute’s doctoral research programme.

I have advised and represented various States, Non-Governmental Organisations and industry on a range of legal issues connected with:

  • Environmental Law;
  • Natural Resources Law;
  • Law of the Sea; and
  • Deep-Sea Mining.

Some of my recent work includes:

  • Facilitator of Working Group on ecosystem-based management for International Seabed Authority’s workshop on Environmental Assessment and Management for Exploitation of Deep Seabed Minerals in the Area (Australia, 23 to 26 May 2016).
  • Advised the IUCN on Advisory opinion proceedings before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea concerning Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (Advisory Opinion 21, 2 April 2015).
  • Advised the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (Applied Geoscience and Technology Division) on draft the Cook Islands Environment (Permitting and Seabed Mineral Activities) Regulations 2014.
  • Advised the Secretariat of the Pacific Community on draft deep-sea mining legislation for South Pacific States in 2012.
  • Advised the Secretariat of the Pacific Community on the European Union funded P-ACP Regional Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Deep Seabed Mining and Exploration in 2012.
  • Chair of the Legal Working Group for the International Seabed Authority’s workshop on Environmental Management Needs for Exploration and Exploitation of Deep Sea Minerals (Fiji, 29 November to 2 December 2011).
  • Counsel for the IUCN, before Seabed Disputes Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, in Advisory Opinion proceedings on Responsibilities and Obligations of States Sponsoring Persons and Entities with Respect to Activities in the Area (Advisory Opinion 17, 1 February 2011).

Testimonial

“Robert Makgill joined American lawyers, Cymie Payne and Donald Anton, as legal counsel for the IUCN before the International Law for the Sea Tribunal in Hamburg, Germany, in late 2010. Robert, and his co-counsels’, written statement and oral submissions received high praise from international lawyers within the IUCN and other delegates who appeared in Hamburg. I am of the view that their contribution to the Tribunal’s ensuing historic Advisory Opinion on deep sea mining was significant.”

Harlan Cohen, PhD, Advisor on Ocean Governance and International Institutions IUCN Washington