Vonintsoa Rafaly

Vonintsoa Rafaly


Vonintsoa Rafaly is a Research Fellow at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark). Her research focuses on rethinking ocean governance to better address global environmental issues, through concepts like common interest, common concerns, international solidarity and global/environmental justice. She is working mainly on the interaction between the law of the sea, environmental law and climate change toward environmental stewardship of the ocean, both at the normative and institutional levels.

Her current research at the Ocean Infrastructure Research Group is based on a theory driven research on the environmental consequences of shipping, based on the concept and theory of infrastructures, including conducting empirical research on marine safety institutions, vulnerable states and regions, and shipping industry.

She is a visiting lecturer at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and the University of Nantes (France). She developed teaching materials for e-learning addressed to people from different backgrounds, within UN E-sea Programme (Nantes, France).  

She is a member of Centre de Droit Maritime et Océanique (Nantes, France), the Centre for Sea and Society (Gothenburg, Sweden) and the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law.

She is a Member of the editorial team of the Law of the Sea: Contemporary Norms and Practice in Africa Project, South African Research Chair in the Law of the Sea and Development in Africa (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa).


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Research areas

International Law, Law of the Sea and Ocean Governance, Environmental Law, Climate Change Law, International Organizations Law


Teaching areas

Law of the Sea, European and International Environmental Law, International Law of Fisheries, Protection of the Marine Environment, Sustainability and Fisheries, International Organizations Law form a maritime perspective.


Selected publications

Rafaly, V., (forthcoming) ‘Oceans and Climate-related Issues: Public Litigation Against all Odds’, in Bendel, J. & Suedi, Y. The Potential of Public Interest Litigation in International Law (Hart).

Rafaly, V., (2023) ‘Global environmental issues and International Solidarity : Between Myth and Reality’. In Kassoti, E. & Idriz, N., The Principle of Solidarity: International and EU Law Perspectives. (The Hague : TMC Asser Press), 2023, 75-97

Rafaly, V. (2022), ‘The concept of “Marine Living Resources”: Navigating through a Grey Zone in the Law of the Sea’ 59 Canadian Yearbook of International Law 285-312.

Rafaly, V. (2022) ‘The Law of the Sea in the Age of Building an Appropriate Ocean governance Addressing Climate Change Issues’ 13 Yearbook of Polar Law 233-251.

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