BECKMAN, Robert Charles

Associate Professor

LL.M. (Harvard), J.D. B.B.A. (Wisconsin)

  • Head, Ocean Law and Policy Programme, Centre for International Law (CIL), NUS
  • Adjunct Senior Fellow, Maritime Security Programme, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University
  • Member, CSCAP National Committee, Singapore
  • Board of Directors, Rhodes Academy of International Law
  • Member, Advisory Board, Asia-Pacific Journal of International Law
Email Address:;
Office Tel: (65) 6516-8215 
Office Fax: (65) 6779-0979 
Office Address

Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore
Eu Tong Sen Building
469G Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259776

Centre for International Law Tower Block, #09-01
469A Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259770
Research Interests

Ocean Law & Policy, including the South China Sea disputes, maritime boundary delimitation,
piracy and maritime crimes, pollution of the marine environment, etc

International Regulation of Shipping, including the regulation of shipping in the Arctic

Subjects Taught

Ocean Law & Policy in Asia
International Regulation of Shipping

Brief Biodata

Prof Beckman is an international lawyer with a special interest in legal skills. For many years he taught Public International Law, International Legal Process and Introduction to Legal Method, and coached the NUS Jessup Moot team and other NUS international moot teams.

He was the founding Director of the Centre for International Law (CIL), a university-wide research institute that is closely affiliated to the Faculty of Law. He served as the Director from 2009 to July 2016. He now serves as the Head of CIL’s programme Ocean Law and Policy.

Since joining CIL he has been joint editor of several books, has published journal articles and chapters in books, and has made numerous invited presentations at international conferences and workshops. He has lectured the prestigious Rhodes Academy of International Law since 2010, and is a member of its Board of Directors.

Prof Beckman served as the Vice Dean (Academic Affairs) from 2001 to 2006. He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) at the 2007 National Day Awards and the Long Service Medal at the 2013 National Day Awards. He has also received two awards from NUS - the Outstanding Educator Award in 2001, and the Staff Achievement Award in 1997.

Representative Publications

1. "'Deliberate Ambiguity’ and the Demise of China's Claim to Historic Rights in the South China Sea", 1 (20016) ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF OCEAN LAW AND POLICY 164-182.

2. "Defining EEZ Claims from Islands: A Potential South China Sea Change", (2014) 29 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARINE AND COASTAL LAW 193-243 (CO-AUTHORED WITH CLIVE SCHOFIELD

3. "The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Maritime Disputes in the South China Sea", (2013) 107 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 142-163.

4. "Moving Beyond Disputes Over Island Sovereignty: ICJ Decision Sets Stage for Maritime Boundary Delimitation in the Singapore Strait" (2009) 40 OCEAN DEVELOPMENT & INTERNATIONAL LAW, 1-35 (CO-AUTHORED WITH CLIVE SCHOFIELD)

5. "PSSAs and Transit Passage - Australia's Pilotage System in the Torres Strait Challenges IMO and UNCLOS" (2007) 38 OCEAN DEVELOPMENT & INTERNATIONAL LAW 325-357

6. "The Establishment of a Cooperative Mechanism for the Straits of Malacca and Singapore under Article 43 of UNCLOS", in A. Chircop, T. L. McDorman & S. J. Rolston, (eds), THE FUTURE OF OCEAN REGIME-BUILDING: ESSAYS IN TRIBUTE TO DOUGLAS M. JOHNSTON, (Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2009), pp. 233-260

Publication List