School of Law and Politics

Professor Richard Barnes


Dr Richard Barnes

Student Director (Exams Chair)
Research Director, School of Law & Politics

Tel: +44 (0) 1482 46 6320
Office: 128 Wilberforce
Qualifications LLB (Dundee), LLM (Cambridge), PhD (Hull)


Professor Richard Barnes has been teaching maritime, international and environmental law at the University for a number of years. He is a strong advocate of students developing both strong academic and practical legal skills as part of the LLB, and so has been in putting this to the forefront of his approach to teaching. He has been external examiner for LLB programmes and research degrees at a number of universities including Oxford, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Southampton and the University of London.

He is a founding member and Director of the McCoubrey Centre for International Law, and is currently involved in University plans to establish a world class research centre in maritime studies. In recent years, he has acted as a consultant on legal issues for Defra, the WWF, the International Transport Works Federation, the EU Parliament Committee on Fisheries, and private law firms. In 2011, he ran a training course on the law of the sea for the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice. He has published widely on a range of marine and maritime issues, including the use of natural resources, marine environmental protection, marine planning and irregular maritime migration and security. His book Property Rights and Natural Resources (2009) won the SLS Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship 2009, and was a finalist in the Inner Temple Book Prize 2009.

He is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law and the New Zealand Yearbook of International Law, as well as the Peer Review Board of the German Yearbook of International Law.

Selected Publications


  • Barnes R, Property Rights and Natural Resources (Hart Publishing 2009)

Edited books

Chapters in edited collections

Articles in refereed journals


  • Barnes R and Rosello M, ‘Does brexit mean plain sailing for UK fishermen, or stormy waters?’ The Conversation, July 1 2016 accessed 6 September 2016
  • Barnes R, Expert advice on the extent to which UNCLOS applies to the regulation of labour, safety, occupational health and safety and migration laws concerning vessels engaged in servicing the offshore oil and gas sector (Report commissioned by International Transport Workers' Federation London, 57pp, 2013)
  • Barnes R, Pathways to strengthen rights based management programs with a “high seas” component in the context of internationally managed tuna stocks (Report commissioned by the WWF (Washington), 73pp, 2012)  

Papers and lectures

  • Barnes R, ‘Environmental Rights and Marine Spaces’ (Environmental Rights Conference, University of Lund, Sweden, 21-2 April 2016)
  • Barnes R, ‘Speaker’ (Frontex: Legal Questions and Current Controversies, University of Luxembourg, November 27 2015)
  • Barnes R, ‘Materiality of Rights’ (A New Politics of Human Rights Conference, University of Wisconsin Law School, USA, November 8 2015)
  • Barnes R, ‘Smart mix regulation in fisheries and good regulatory design’ (Workshop: Smart Mixes in Relation to Fisheries and Oil Pollution, Amsterdam, October 7 2015)
  • Barnes R, ‘The Possible New UNCLOS Implementation Agreement. Its Relationship with Existing International Fisheries Law and Other Key Issues’ (Persistent Challenges and Recent Developments in International Fisheries Law, The Arctic University of Norway, Teorifagbygget, September 23 2015)
  • Barnes R, ‘Chagos Islands: paradise lost or preserved’ (Society of legal Scholars (SLS) Conference, York UK, 1-4 September 2015)
  • Barnes R, ‘Informed Decision-Making for Environmental Law, Policy and Regulation’ (Annual Law and the Environment Conference, University College Cork Ireland, April 23 2015)
  • Barnes R, ‘The Human Rights and Humanitarian Dimensions of Maritime Search and Rescue Law’ ('Boat Refugees' and Migrants at Sea: A Comprehensive Approach Integrating Maritime Security with Human Rights, University of London, 23-4 June 2014)
  • Barnes R, ‘Energy Sovereignty’ (Energy from the Sea: An International Law Perspective on Ocean Energy, Utrecht University, 19 February 2014)
  • Barnes R, ‘Regulatory Scenarios’ (Vectors Marine Stakeholders Workshop, London, 5 February 2014)
  • Barnes R, ‘Control of the Seas: Privatisation or Public Interests?’ (Workshop on International Law, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, University of Warwick, 13 September 2013 )
  • Barnes R, ‘Integrating Skills into the Curriculum’ (SLS Annual Conference, Edinburgh, 3 September 2013)
  • Barnes R, ‘Conflict, Compatibility and Co-location. Regulation of Multiple Activities in Offshore Windfarm Zones ’ (Marsafenet Workshop on Safety and security aspects of economic activities at sea, Glasgow, 12 March 2013)
  • Barnes R, ‘The Law of the Sea. Looking to the Future’ (BIICL/Law Society of Northern Ireland Conference ‘UNCLOS at 30’, Belfast, 23 November 2012)
  • Barnes R and Green S, ‘Response and Responsibilization: A criminological and legal approach to understanding Maritime Piracy’ (British Society of Criminology Conference, Portsmouth, 6th July 2012 )


Richard is currently working on a number of publications. These include: a collection of essays on the law of the sea, a paper on fisheries in areas beyond national jurisdiction, and a paper on the materiality of environmental rights.

Current/Recent Research

  • Richard is participating in a Global Think Tank to provide legal expertise on fisheries in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction– supported by World Bank and the WWF (World Bank project Ocean Partnerships for Sustainable Fisheries and Biodiversity Conservation – Models for Innovation and Reform (OPP) This will run from 2016-17.
    The aim of the GloTT is to promote regional outreach and collaboration among the five regional projects that will share knowledge and develop a global goods Economic Sector Work on the effective management of shared highly migratory stocks. The GloTT will serve as a vehicle to ensure that the highest level of technical advice and support on overall project design is made available to all regional projects. Knowledge sharing on best practices will play a major role in defining sustainable fisheries arrangements at the global level.
  • The Devotes Project aims to develop tools to improve our knowledge of the impact of human activities and global climate change on marine biodiversity within European seas especially the Baltic Sea, North East Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea.

PhD Supervision

Professor Barnes is interested in supervising topics related to marine environmental law, law of the sea and international environmental law. In particular, he is interested in research related to the sustainable use of natural resources, especially fisheries and renewable energy, and the interface between law and science.



  • Shipping Law (Convenor)
  • Environmental Law and Regulation (Convenor)
  • Law of the Sea (Convenor)
  • Practical Legal Skills (Convenor)


  • Admiralty Law (Convenor)
  • Carriage of Goods by Sea (Convenor)
  • Law of the Sea (Convenor)
  • Environmental Law and Regulation (Convenor)
  • Legal Research Seminar (Convenor)
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