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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Robert MacKintosh

PhD Studentship entitled: Is the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage effective in practice?

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Hi, I'm Robert MacKintosh and I studied within Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute at the University of Southampton.

I completed a Bachelor of Law at the University of Glasgow, followed by a Master’s in Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton, so I am well suited for this cross disciplinary PhD. The project fits in extremely well with the SMMI mission, utilising the expertise of two leading centres for maritime research in a truly novel investigation.

Under the supervision of Dr Lucy Blue, the Director of the Centre for Maritime Archaeology, and Mr Filippo Lorenzon, the Director of the Institute of Maritime Law, I am undertaking a PhD which will examine the 2001 UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage in a multidisciplinary manner, assessing the effectiveness of the legal regime through its effects on archaeological practice. Most of the analyses of the 2001 UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage to date have been from a purely legal perspective and have invariably used a ‘top down’ approach, studying the wording of the convention itself, the negotiating process behind it, and its relationship to other international laws. My study will take a ‘bottom up’ approach, identifying how it affects the work of archaeologists and the underwater cultural heritage itself. The study will ask whether the Convention is ‘enabling’ or ‘hindering’ to archaeologists and will establish whether its principles of protection are effective in practice.

It is anticipated that the research will allow guidelines to implementation to be suggested which could subsequently stimulate real changes in the law and practice concerning the underwater cultural heritage. It could also possibly encourage other significant States that are not yet party to the convention (such as the UK) to ratify, helping to safeguard the heritage for generations to come.

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