Robert McLaughlin


Prof Rob McLaughlin is Professor of International Law at the Australian National Centre for Oceans Resources and Security, Senior Fellow at the Stockton Centre for International Law at the US Naval War College, and Honorary Professor at the Australian National University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and of the Royal Historical Society.

Recently Published

Clashes in the South China Sea: Escalation at Second Thomas Shoal

Over recent months, the frequency and seriousness of interactions between PRC Coast Guard and maritime militia forces, and Philippines Coast Guard and Armed Forces units in the vicinity of Second Thomas Shoal has escalated significantly. 17 June 2024 saw an incident involving China Coast Guard (CCG) small craft blocking in and surrounding Philippine Coast Guard…

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Attribution of Naval Mine Strikes in International Law

On Thursday, June 13, two ships were damaged within forty-five minutes by (current evidence suggests) limpet mines, while transiting the Gulf of Oman at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz. The Japanese product tanker, Kokuka Courageous sustained damage from either a limpet mine or a projectile, just as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Iranian Supreme Leader…

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The Legal Status and Characterisation of Maritime Militia Vessels

A recent report has described how Royal Australian Navy helicopter pilots were targeted with lasers during a night flight in the South China Sea. The lasers were allegedly directed from Chinese fishing vessels – the primary cadre from which the so-called Chinese ‘maritime militia’ is drawn. Further, the incident occurred - according to another report -…

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