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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); and championing the establishment of ground-breaking legislation that recognises the legal Rights of the natural World (Ocean Rights & Ecocide).

Image by Matheo JBT


Image by Lachlan Dempsey


Enforcing Existing Laws

We take direct legal action to 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 how to hold States accountable for their marine protection obligations in her doctoral thesis. She is recognised as the leading expert for Marine Protection and Ocean Litigation by institutions such as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, where she is invited as a keynote 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 Ocean Rights (Rights of Nature) & Ecocide

Michelle Bender is the leading expert in Rights of Nature (RoN) and creator of the Ocean Rights framework. She has drafted laws in 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 implementing and enforcing Ocean Rights, pushing the development of an Ocean Rights Alliance, and coordinating, facilitating, and advocating Ocean Rights and Ocean for Ecocide Law frameworks.

Image by Tim Oun


“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)

Michelle Bender


Ocean Rights


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

Examples of our work include but are not limited to: 

  • Advisory Opinions are given 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 Antarctica.

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 affecting human health and the environment. Marine Protection is thus 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 Violating Human Rights, including the Right to a Healthy 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 wastewater 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 Litigation


Ocean Rights


The Rights of Nature movement has grown exponentially in the past 5 years: 200 laws, policies, and judicial decisions codifying the Rights of Nature 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 well-being is inextricably linked with the Ocean's health, integrity, and functioning, which are all in decline. We are bridging this gap from the local to international level: local initiatives build 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.

We believe it is essential to enforce the Rights of Nature judicially. Like the Right to Life, which is protected and violations prevented by the crime of murder, the Rights of Nature can be given judicial enforceability and 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 function of criminal law, thus, is not only to punish – it prevents!

  • We are committed to pushing forward the recognition of Ecocide as an international crime!

  • We work closely together with the Gallifrey Foundation and Stop Ecocide International.

  • We support and facilitate the development of the Ocean for Ecocide Law movement. 


“We must recognize that the Ocean is one dynamic, fluid and interconnected entity, made up of vital species and ecosystems not only to humanity, but for present and future generations of all life on the planet.“

(Michelle Bender)

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