Each year, the International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) and the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy (Rhodes Academy) sponsor the Rhodes Academy-ICPC Submarine Cables Writing Award for a deserving paper addressing submarine cables and their relationship with the law of the sea.

Applicants to, and graduates of, the Rhodes Academy are eligible to compete for the award. With the award, the ICPC and the Rhodes Academy seek to foster scholarship regarding submarine cables (the infrastructure of the Internet) and the law of the sea and promote the rule of law as applied to submarine cables. The referees of the 2020 competition chose Yang Wenlan of China as the winner for his paper, ‘Protecting Submarine Cables from Physical Damage under Investment Law.’

Each year, the Rhodes Academy brings together approximately 50 mid-career professionals from around the world to study and learn from leading ocean law and science scholars, judges, and practitioners about the law of the sea and its key legal instrument, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It is organised by a consortium of research universities and institutes, led by the Center for Oceans Law and Policy at the University of Virginia (COLP). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rhodes Academy’s twenty-fifth session in 2020 was cancelled, but the ICPC and Rhodes Academy decided to proceed with the writing competition, with the organisational assistance of the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore. For more information about the Rhodes Academy and the writing competition, visit: https://colp.virginia.edu/Rhodesacademy.

Each year, the winner will receive either guaranteed admission and a full scholarship (covering the attendance fee, travel expenses, and shared hotel room) to the Rhodes Academy, or for a Rhodes Academy graduate from a prior year, a cash award of £4,500. The winner will receive assistance from the Rhodes Academy in seeking publication of the winning paper and will also be invited to speak at the next ICPC Plenary meeting. The papers of all past winners have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

The ICPC is the world’s premier submarine cable protection organisation. It was formed in 1958 to promote the protection of international submarine cables against human and natural hazards. It provides a forum for the exchange of technical, legal, and environmental information about submarine cables and engages with stakeholders and governments globally to promote submarine cable protection. The ICPC has 170 Members from over 60 nations, including cable operators, owners, manufacturers, industry service providers, as well as governments. For further information about the ICPC, visit: www.iscpc.org and www.linkedin.com/company/icpc-ltd/.