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"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once,

but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times."

(Bruce Lee)

Ocean Vision Legal's two Action Areas are:  holding actors (States & companies) accountable for their marine protection obligations by enforcing them in courts (Ocean Litigation); championing the establishment of ground-breaking legislation that recognises the legal Rights of the natural World (Rights of Nature & Ecocide).

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Enforcing Existing Laws

We take direct legal action t hold (State) actors accountable for their marine protection obligations.

Our firm possesses unparalleled expertise in Ocean Litigation. Dr. Anna von Rebay represented clients in 80+ court proceedings, before establishing in her doctoral thesis how to hold States accountable for their marine protection obligations. She is recognised as the leading experts for Marine Protection and Ocean Litigation by institutions such as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, where she is invited as key not speaker to share her expertise.

Advancing New Laws

We are the leading experts in establishing and advancing alternative legal pathways to protect and restore Ocean health through Rights of Nature and EcocideMichelle Bender is the leading expert in Rights of Nature (RoN) and creator of the Ocean Rights framework and has drafted laws in i.a. the USA, Panama, Aruba, Palau and the Philippines.

Our overarching aim is to use this expertise effectively by establishing Ocean Vision Legal as the central hub for the implementation and enforcement of Ocean Rights and to push the development of an Ocean Rights Alliance, coordinating, facilitating and advocating Ocean Rights and Ocean for Ecocide Law frameworks.

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“UNCLOS would be one of the strongest international treaties for the protection of the marine environment if its provisions were being enforced. We are determined to do that!“

(Dr. Anna von Rebay)

Ocean Litigation


UNCLOS and other international treaties already provide for solid marine protection laws and the obligation of States to protect and preserve the marine environment. In order to bring upon the Paradigm Shift to better protect the Ocean, we take direct legal actions to enforce marine protection in Court.

Examples of our work include but are not limited to: 

  • Advisory Opinions to international courts and tribunals to enforce the obligation of States to protect the marine environment.

  • Prohibition of Bottom Trawling in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.

  • Closing European waters for Bottom Trawling (Territorial Sea of Germany; EEZ of Germany) and enforcement of this.

  • The Designation of Marine Protected Areas in Antartica.

Michelle Bender


The Rights of Nature movement has grown exponentially in the past 5 years: 200 laws, policies and judicial decisions codifying Rights of Nature now exist in almost 40 countries. However, less than 5% explicitly refer to, or are specific to, marine ecosystems or species. This is a significant and vastly important gap to address, as human wellbeing is inextricably linked with the health, integrity and functioning of the Ocean, which are all in decline. We are bridging this gap from the local to international level: local initiatives building grassroots momentum for state and international action while demonstrating the proof of concept; while international change is necessary to ensure uniform standards and accountability.

  • Facilitating the development of a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights.

  • Enforcing Rights of Nature and Ecocide before international Courts (see: Ocean Litigation Deep Sea Mining and Human Rights).

  • Establishing the legal framework for the Rights of the Harbour Porpoise in Germany, together with a campaign for the legal recognition of these Rights in the following years.

Anna von Rebay


The ocean produces two-thirds of the world's oxygen and is its biggest carbon sink. Sea level rise and marine pollution are prone to affect human health and the environment. Marine Protection, thus, is closely interrelated with other fields of law, such as Climate and Human Rights Law.


Examples of our work include but are not limited to:

  • Advisory Opinion on the Violation of Human Rights, including the Human Right to a Health Environment, Rights of Nature and future generations by Deep Sea Mining.

  • Communications Procedure to the Human Rights Council to stop Japan from dumping nuclear contaminated waste water from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean. 

  • Workshops and Step by Step Guidelines on how to submit a Communications Procedure to the Human Rights Council.

Ocean Rights


We believe it is essential to give judicial enforceability to Rights of Nature. Like the Right to Life is protected and violations are prevented by the crime of murder, Rights of Nature can be given judicial enforceability and be protected by the crime of Ecocide. We thus strongly believe that both initiatives are two sides of the same coin and must be promoted simultaneously.


“The Paradigm Shift towards a sustainable interaction of humans with planet Earth requires the enforcement of existing obligations and the creation of new laws, through which people recognise Nature as an entity with intrinsic values worthy of protection in itself, rather than a resource for human benefit and utility.“

(Michelle Bender)


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