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Tragedy of the Commons

2 October 2018

Dr Rawindaran Nair delivers lecture at MIMA

A shipping policy and international transportation law expert from Cardiff University has delivered a lecture to government and industry representatives at the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) in Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Rawindaran Nair, a Lecturer in Logistics and Operations Management at Cardiff Business School, showed how the decision of the Tribunal under Annex VII of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea 1982 delivered on the South China Sea territorial disputes can be understood through a risk management perspective.

The ruling was delivered on July 12, 2016.

Strategic importance

Dr Nair outlined the strategic importance of the South China Sea where an estimated US$5 trillion worth of goods are transported annually.

“The tragedy of the commons refers to the notion raised initially by William Foster Lloyd in 1833, in relation to managing common resources without individual ownership and potentially likely to be destroyed by neighbours.”

Dr Rawindaran Nair Lecturer in Shipping Policy and International Transportation Law

Quoting the concept of ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ cited later by Garrett Hardin in 1968, in dealing with private ownership of common resource, he promoted the notion of ‘revisiting’ the ideas underlying this approach for claimant states in a global context, to resolve their overlapping claims in the South China Sea.

Government and industry

Dr Rawindaran Nair presented with memento

The lecture provided an opportunity for delegates to draw on Dr Nair’s expertise and promoted discussion between representatives from Malaysian government and industry.

Formerly known as the Malaysian Institute of Maritime Affairs, MIMA is a policy research institute set up by the Malaysian Government to look into matters relating to Malaysia's interest at sea, and to serve as a national focal point for research in the maritime sector.

Dr Nair’s lecture was delivered following ongoing research on a paper, entitled ‘The decision of the Arbitral Tribunal under Annex VII of UNCLOS 1982 on territorial disputes in the South China Sea: Revisiting the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’, through a Risk Management Perspective’ jointly prepared by Dr Nair, his Cardiff Business School Colleague Dr Daniel Eyers and Dr Sabirin Ja’afar, a legal expert in the same field from Malaysia.

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