Members CVs and Contact Details

More detailed information can be obtained by contacting individual Members direct: see their Contact Details

Judge Albert J. Hoffmann (South Africa)

Judge Hoffmann was elected as President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in October 2020.

He has been a member of the Tribunal since 1 October 2005.
Re-elected October 2014.
Vice-President of the Tribunal 2011-2014.
President of the Seabed Disputes Chamber 2017-2020.


B. Proc, University of Johannesburg (1979);
LL.B, University of Johannesburg (1982);
LL.M (cum laude), University of Johannesburg (1987);
LL.M, Programme University of Pretoria (1990);
LL.M, Programme UNITAR/Columbia University, New York (2003).

Professional Experience:
Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa (1983);
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: State Law Adviser (1983–1989), Senior State Law Adviser (1990–1991), Chief State Law Adviser (1992–1999), Legal Adviser, Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN (1999–2003), Chief Director, Legal Affairs (2004–2005);
Senior Lecturer, courses in Advanced and Applied International Law, LLM Programme, University of Pretoria, South Africa (2008–2011);
Lecturer, Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy, 16th, 18th-23rd sessions (2012–present).
Lecturer, Nippon Foundation capacity-building and training programme on dispute settlement under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (2014-present).


  • Member/Adviser, South African delegation annual meetings, London Convention on the prevention of marine pollution by dumping of waste and other matter at sea (1985–1992);
  • Adviser, South African delegations to the Southeast Atlantic Fisheries Organisation, the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Fishery Resources in the Southern Indian Ocean and in the Southeast Atlantic Ocean, the Agreement for the establishment of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1986–1996); Bilateral commissions on maritime boundary delimitation with regard to the lateral boundary between South Africa/Namibia and South Africa/Mozambique (1986–1999);
  • Adviser and South African representative, Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings and the Special Sessions for the elaboration of the Protocol for the protection of the Antarctic environment (1987–1998);
  • Member, Antarctic Management Committee responsible for the management and coordination of South Africa’s involvement in Antarctica (1987–1998);
  • South African representative, Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly (1993–2003);
  • Member, Editorial Board, South African Yearbook for International Law (1993–2012);
  • Member, South African Branch, International Law Association (1994–present);
  • Regular judge, South African rounds, Jessup International Moot Court Competition (1995–2015);
  • South African representative, Meetings of States Parties to the Convention and meetings of the Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (1998–2004);
  • Member, Finance Committee, International Seabed Authority (1999–2001);
  • South African representative, Preparatory Commission for the establishment of the International Criminal Court and the First Assembly of States Parties (1999–2003);
  • Regular participant, annual debate in the UN General Assembly on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (1999–2004);
  • South African representative, Assembly and Council, International Seabed Authority (1999–2004);
  • Legal and Technical Commission, International Seabed Authority (Chairman 2002-2005),
  • Conciliation Committee, International Seabed Authority (Chairman 2002–2005);
  • Commonwealth list of maritime boundary consultants (2004–present);
  • Listed as Arbitrator under Article 2, Annex VII of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (2014-present);
  • Member of Arbitral Tribunal in Chagos Marine Protected Area Arbitration (Mauritius v United Kingdom).

Publications and Lectures:

  • Numerous lectures on international law, law of the sea and South African law;
  • Numerous legal opinions and briefings on the sovereignty of Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands and the issues relating to the generation and delimitation of maritime zones;
  • “Aspects of the draft regulations on prospecting and exploration for polymetallic sulphides and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts relating to the protection of the International Seabed environment”, paper presented at a workshop organised by the International Seabed Authority, Kingston, Jamaica, 2004;
“Resources of the Seabed and Subsoil: Issues and Options”, paper presented at an international workshop organised by the Argentine Council for Foreign Relations, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2006;
  • “UNCLOS and the Resources of the Seabed in areas beyond national jurisdiction”, paper presented at a workshop organised by the Taiwan Ocean University, Taipei, Taiwan, 2007;
  • “UNCLOS and the Resources of the Seabed and Subsoil in areas beyond national jurisdiction”, keynote address at University of Joensuu – UNEP Course in International Law-making and Diplomacy, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 2008;
  • Guest lecturer for a course in International Dispute Settlement and the Law of the Sea, Masters Programme, University for Peace, San Jose, Costa Rica, 2008;
  • “International Law in the Contemporary World: The Law of the Sea, Settlement of Mixed Maritime Delimitation Disputes and the Challenges faced in the Asia-Pacific Region”, paper presented at the International Law Association Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, Taipei, Taiwan, 2011;
  • “Progress on the Work of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea”, keynote address at an International Symposium on Scientific and Legal Aspects of the Regimes of the Continental Shelf and the Area, Hangzhou, China, 2011;
  • “International Adjudication: Roles and Challenges”, guest lecture given at the Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea, 2012;
  • “The 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS): Legal Challenges and Opportunities”, keynote address at the 2014 Marine and Maritime Law Conference, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 2014;
  • “The EEZ Regime: Issues and Challenges”, guest lecturer, LL.M. Programme, IMO International Maritime Law Institute, Malta, 2015;
  • “Improving the Working Methods in International Adjudication”, presentation at a Symposium on the Contribution of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to the Rule of Law: 1996-2016, Hamburg, Germany, 2016;
  • “Advisory Function of ITLOS in deep-seabed mining and fishing activities”, paper presented at an International Conference on the Development of the Law of the Sea and the Role of ITLOS, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2018.
  • “The role of the Seabed Disputes Chamber in dispute settlement relating to activities in the Area”, paper presented at the International Conference on Legal, Scientific and Economic Aspects of Deep Seabed Mining, International Seabed Authority, Kingston (Jamaica), 2019.
  • “The future of the Tribunal and Contemporary Challenges in the Law of the Sea”, lecture to fellows who participate in the ITLOS/Nippon Foundation capacity-building programme, ITLOS, Hamburg, 2020.


English, Afrikaans (mother tongue), German (basic knowledge).

Contact Details:

International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
Am Internationalen Seegerichtshof 1
22609 Hamburg
e-mail: hoffmann@itlos.org