Oceans Law & Policy


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Biographical Information

Professor John Norton Moore

John Norton Moore is the Walter L. Brown Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. He also directs the University's Center for Oceans Law and Policy ("Oceans Center"), and the Center for National Security Law, and was the Director of the Graduate Law Program at Virginia for more than twenty years. He is the author or editor of  over 25 books and over 165 scholarly articles.

Professor Moore is an internationally recognized expert on oceans issues. He has published numerous articles on oceans policy and edited with Richard B. Lillich the two-volume Readings in International Law from the Naval War College Review (1983); he also edited the Oceans Center's five-volume collection of International and United States Documents on Oceans Law and Policy (1986). Under the direction of Professor Moore, the Oceans Center has undertaken and completed a seven-volume series entitled United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982: A Commentary, providing a comprehensive analysis of the articles of the Convention.

In addition to his scholarly career, Professor Moore has a distinguished record of public service. He served as Chairman of the National Security Council Interagency Task Force on the Law of the Sea, and, among seven presidential appointments, he served as Ambassador and Deputy Special Representative of the President to the Law of the Sea Conference (1973-76) and as a Member of the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere (1984-85). From 1981-84, Professor Moore served as Special Counsel for the United States for the Gulf of Maine case before the International Court of Justice. He chaired the United Nations Advisory Panel of the Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Memorial Fellowship on the Law of the Sea from 1991-93, in 1995-97, and again in 1999-2002. Professor Moore has served as Chairman of the Marine Education and Policy Division of the Marine Technology Society (MTS) since 1979, was an MTS Fellow in 1983, and received the MTS-sponsored "Compass Distinguished Achievement Award" for 1994. As Director of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy, Moore is also a co-founder, with the Directors of the Aegean Institute of the Law of the Sea and Maritime Law, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, and the Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea, of the international Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy, which held its first six sessions in Rhodes, Greece, during the summers of 1996-2002. He served as an informal delegation member of the U. S. delegation to the United Nations General Assembly for the 20th anniversary of the opening of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (December 2002). On this occasion, he was named by the United Nations Secretariat as one of five living American "personalities" who contributed to the success of the Conference.

Viewed by many as the founder of the field of national security law, Professor Moore chaired the prestigious American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security for an unprecedented five terms from 1982-86. He served two terms as the Presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United States Institute of Peace and, as the first Chairman, set up this new agency. He served as the Counselor on International Law to the Department of State and has served as a Consultant to both the President's Intelligence Oversight Board and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. He has been a member of the United States Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Presidential Delegation of the United States to observe the elections in El Salvador. In 1990, he served with the Deputy Attorney General of the United States as Co-Chairman of the United States-USSR talks on the Rule of Law. He also served as the legal adviser to the Kuwait Representative to the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission. He served for two decades on the editorial board of the American Journal of International Law, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Law Institute, the American Society of International Law, the Order of the Coif, Phi Beta Kappa, and numerous other professional and honorary organizations.