Alex Dela Cruz

PhD Candidate

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Alex P Dela Cruz is a PhD researcher at Melbourne Law School’s Institute for International Law and the Humanities where he investigates questions of maritime worldmaking and jurisdiction in international law.

Alex returns to MLS after having previously earned an LLM as an Endeavour Postgraduate Scholar of the Australian Government. He also holds JD and BA (magna cum laude) degrees from the University of the Philippines and is admitted to membership of the Philippine Bar. Before moving back to Melbourne, Alex investigated women’s reproductive health rights issues in urban poor communities in Metro Manila with the University of the Philippines Law Center, represented the Philippine Government in various judicial and administrative proceedings through the Office of the Solicitor General, and lectured with the law faculty at Far Eastern University. He is fluent in Filipino, Chabacano, and English, and has a working knowledge of Spanish.

Thesis Title

The Imperial Sea: Imaginaries of ocean rule of law and development

Thesis Summary

The thesis seeks to understand how international law shapes human relations with the sea. It examines an object called the ‘maritime’, a distinct set of practices, processes, and activities that author, authorise, and actualise lawful relations in and with the sea. The project pays attention to the ‘maritime’ through a critical redescription of its characteristics, its examples, and in terms of how the practices associated with it have changed over time. Broadly, the thesis advances a contribution that situates the contemporary law of the sea at the meeting point of old (imperial) and new (capitalist) modes of maritime legality.