Professor George Walker moderates ‘Rising Seas, Baselines Issues’ panel discussion on climate change at annual ABILA meeting

Photo of Professor George K. Walker

George Walker is one of the school’s most accomplished scholars and public servants. He is the editor or author of over 10 books and monographs, 50 professional journal articles or book chapters and 30 continuing education chapters.

Dean’s Research Professor of Admiralty and International Law George Walker moderated a panel on climate change and the law of the sea at the 95th annual meeting of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) and International Law Association (ILA) on Oct. 29 at Fordham Law School in New York City.


The annual conference attracts an audience of more than 800 academics, diplomats, members of the governmental and nongovernmental sectors and foreign policy and law students.

The discussion, “Change and Stability (or Instability) in the Edges of the Oceans: Coastal Baselines, Rising Seas: The Effect of Climate Change,” addressed issues surrounding the measurement of coastal baselines affected by rising ocean levels under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and customary international law.

Professor Walker, a member of the ABILA Board of Directors, was named an Honorary Vice President of the Branch for life during the meeting. Professor Walker is also chair of the ABILA Law of the Sea Committee and a member of the ILA Baselines Committee, which studies and has reported on nation’s claims and practices on baselines, from which seaward boundaries — such as those for the territorial sea; the exclusive economic zone for regulating fishing and similar activities; and the continental shelf, which declares territorial limits for offshore drilling and similar activities — are measured.

Panelists included Ashley Roach, a retired Captain and attorney adviser who served in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps and the U.S. Department of State, Davor Vidas, a research professor and director of the Law of the Sea Programme at the Fridjof Nansen Institute in Norway and David Freestone of George Washington University School of Law. The panel reviewed the current work of the ILA Baselines Committee and the ILA Sea Level Rise Committee and related developments in the law of the sea.

Professor Walker is the editor or author of more than 10 books and monographs, 50 professional journal articles or book chapters and 30 continuing education chapters. He has also played a key role in international, national and state legislative and rule drafting projects.