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Dr Massimo Lando

Massimo Lando is Assistant Professor of Law at City University of Hong Kong. Before moving to Hong Kong, he served as Associate Legal Officer at the International Court of Justice between 2017 and 2020. His research is in general international law, with a special focus on the law of the sea and international dispute settlement.

Massimo completed his LLM and PhD at Cambridge (St. Catharine’s College).




Maritime Delimitation as a Judicial Process (2018)

Book Blurb: Maritime Delimitation as a Judicial Process is the first comprehensive analysis of judicial decisions, state practice and academic opinions on maritime boundary delimitation. For ease of reading and clarity, it follows this three-stage approach in its structure. Massimo Lando analyses the interaction between international tribunals and states in the development of the delimitation process, in order to explain how a judicially-created approach to delimit maritime boundaries has been accepted by states. Pursuing a practical approach, this book identifies disputed points in maritime delimitation and proposes solutions which could be applied in future judicial disputes. In addition, the book engages with the underlying theories of maritime delimitation, including the relationship between delimitation and delineation, the effect of third states' rights on delimitation, and the manner in which each stage of the process influences the other stages.


What made you write on this topic?

When I was an LLM student at Cambridge, I was still considering what topic I would want to write my PhD on. My LLB thesis at the University of Milan was on the law of provisional measures under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, but research was already being done on provisional measures at that time. I branched out and took a few months to read on law of the sea topics. I quickly found that maritime delimitation was an area in which there was a substantial amount of jurisprudence, a more substantial mass of scholarship and an even more considerable degree of confusion and uncertainty. Maritime delimitation was nearly instantly attractive as an area in which to write a PhD.

The long-term plan starting with the PhD was to publish a monograph that, first of all, would seek to bring some order and clarity to a topic that has been made confusing to most by conflicting judicial decisions and conflicting scholarly elaboration. In addition, my idea was to assess how the established methodology for maritime delimitation fit within the theory of sources of international law, given its essentially judge-made character.


How long did it take to produce your book from initial conception to publication?

One could consider that the book was first conceived when I applied for the PhD in 2014, which would make the production time be 5 years. However, the real process for publishing the book began in 2016, when, just a few months before leaving to the International Court of Justice, Finola O’Sullivan and I had lunch together to speak about the book project. Finola was supportive from the start and worked to make the publication process as smooth as possible.


What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

The most difficult part is refining the argument once the first draft is written. Having the idea and writing it down comes relatively easy. However, the most difficult part is improving on the first draft, which is not even close to what the final product will look like. Usually, there will be several drafts before the manuscript is ready to be submitted for publication. In this refining process, I usually involve trusted readers, who are kind enough to devote some (and sometimes a lot) of their time to reading and engaging with my writing. Their comments inevitably raise points that, once thought about, discussed and reduced to writing, greatly improve the quality of the manuscript.


Why should people read your book? What’s in it for those with an interest International Law?

From the very start, I conceived my book as bringing together theory and practice. The practitioner of maritime delimitation will find some creative and original solutions to outstanding problems in the field, while the academic lawyer will also find elaboration concerning the cross-cutting themes in delimitation (such as delimitation as a process and remarks on the theory of sources). Moreover, it was my hope that the book would bring some clarity to a confused subject-matter, which should be an additional reason to read the book.


What book is currently on your bedside table?

'Absolutely on music' by Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa. 


What are you working on now?

At this time, I am working on separate projects concerning advisory jurisdiction and customary international law. It is my plan to start working on the position of third States in maritime delimitation, both by treaty and judicial process, for which I am seeking to obtain funding in the form of a grant.