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Research Chair: Law of the Sea and Development in Africa


Professor P Vrancken

Professor P Vrancken

Faculty: Law


Professor Vrancken was awarded an LLD degree by UCT in 1993. He was the Head of the Department of Public Law at the Nelson Mandela University (formerly NMMU) until June 2013. He has supervised or co-supervised several LLM and LLD students.

He is the author or co-author of more than 50 articles in accredited South African and foreign journals. Professor Vrancken is the editor and co-author of Tourism and the Law in South Africa (2002), the co-editor and co-author of Introduction to Human Rights Law (2009) and the author of South Africa and the Law of the Sea published in 2011 by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers in Boston and Leiden.

Professor Vrancken is currently directly involved in the efforts of the African maritime administrations led by the South African Maritime Safety Authority to build the higher education structures necessary for Africa to meet its human capacity and research needs in coastal and ocean studies.

Relevance of research

Research on the legal frameworks of port assets and activities in the SADC states will substantially advance the knowledge required to ensure that SADC states have in place, implement, monitor compliance with and enforce legal regimes which promote the rule of law at sea, avoid distorting competition between ports and are best suited to the states’ present developmental needs, while being in a position in the years ahead to keep up with, and proactively influence relevant developments at global level.

Current research interests

Professor Vrancken’s research interests include the legal developments affecting the African coasts and maritime environment, the incorporation of the international law of the sea into the domestic legal system of African states and the legal aspects of coastal and marine tourism.

He also recently focussed on the legal regime of ports in the SADC region.