Together with Dr. Kai Trümpler (Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency), I will hold an ex- perimental English language seminar in the winter term 2020/2021 entitled

Open Introduction to the Law of the Sea.

In this seminar, students will develop, test and put into practice methods and a workflow to initiate, create and maintain chapters of an open source textbook on the international law of the sea.

Based on an existing draft, in consultation with the seminar organizers, students will:

  • Develop and agree on a structure for the textbook
  • Set up a workflow for the submission of contributions to an open source platform
  • Test this workflow
  • Make their own contributions
  • Publish their contributions to the textbook as an open source project.
  • Suggest suitable a workflow and protocols for the maintenance of the project,
  • Accept or reject, edit and incorporate any external contributions, should they be made during the seminar.Students will write a contribution to the open source textbook on a topic to be agreed upon as Seminararbeit.

The seminar will not be held as a block seminar, but as a regularly recurring event (probably in a two-week rhythm) of 90 minutes per date. Participation in the individual dates is obligatory. The student contributions will be developed within a fixed time frame and will be subject to internal peer review (first by the students themselves, then by the seminar organizers). In this way, the seminar is intended to provide guidance on how to write a Seminararbeit, and to pre- pare the students intensively for the Schwerpunkthausarbeit. Details will be explained in a meeting during the first week of the lecture period, for which you are kindly requested to reg- ister by email with Deborah Carter (

Students will probably work with Github or a similar environment, Markdown or a similar markup language, reference managers (e.g. Zotero, possibly using a plaintext format), and pandoc or a similar tool. Prior experience with any of those, similar tools or Latex is an asset.

Complete announcement (PDF)