In profile: Millicent McCreath, PhD Student
During her years spent studying the international law of sea, Millicent McCreath has noticed an imbalance in where attention is being focused for the protection of marine environments. While significant interest is dedicated to protecting marine environments that sit beyond national jurisdiction, those closer to land are falling by the wayside.
Millicent says that the problem with this is marine environments that do fall within national jurisdiction are often where many of the ocean’s areas of highest biodiversity are found. And they’re in no better shape—and perhaps even worse shape— than those in international waters.
Millicent worked in law of the sea research in Singapore before becoming a Scientia PhD candidate at UNSW Law. She believes that for too long states have been able to implement environmental policies within their maritime zones with little to no consideration of the interests of other states.
“My argument is that with increasing concern regarding the health of the ocean, the international community in fact has an interest in the protection of the marine environment within national jurisdiction, and coastal states should consider this interest when implementing their environmental policies.”
Millicent is drawing on other fields of international law such as international human rights law and world heritage law where regimes were developed over time to protect things that sit within the jurisdiction of specific states, but matter to all states.
If a similar regime is applied to the law of the sea, in certain cases states would have the right to take enforcement action against another state that is failing to protect its own marine environment.
The international community has an interest in the protection of the marine environment within national jurisdiction, and coastal states should consider this interest when implementing their environmental policies
Millicent McCreath, PhD Student
Millicent’s path her to PhD began with gaining her a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Law from UNSW. She then went on to complete her Master of Law in the Law of the Sea at the University of Tromsø in Norway, solidifying her interest in this space and triggering her desire to learn more and do more.
Millicent chose to complete her PhD at UNSW because of the opportunity it presented to work closely with three outstanding supervisors whose work she admires: Scientia Professor Rosemary Rayfuse, Professor Natalie Klein and Dr Jonathan Bonnitcha.
Her ambition for the future is to work in a role that will allow her to use her knowledge of international law to contribute to improving the health of the ocean, but she’s open to exactly what this might look like.
“My plans for the future are flexible, and I will be exploring possibilities for positions in academia, government, international organisations or NGOs anywhere in the world,” says Millicent.
“It’s a difficult job market so I am open-minded.”
Millicent’s publications can be accessed here.