Polar Law Textbook

image of Polar Law Textbook

The idea for this textbook developed from the recognition of the need to disseminate information about Polar Law as an emerging field of legal studies - an area of study long overdue greater recognition. Developments in the Polar Regions - the Arctic and Antarctica - are now the subject of growing interest and importance. They concern a divergent range of global and regional development issues and beg further inquiry into the role of law in dealing with many of these issues. This textbook is the first educational material of its kind. It attempts to illustrate the importance of legal values in addressing various challenges across the Nordic region, among remote Arctic communities and globally. The textbook focuses on the various developments in international and domestic law concerning the Polar Regions (e.g., issues of environmental law, law of the sea, resources, human rights law and Indigenous peoples’ rights, etc.). By looking at linkages between different areas of law and the other social sciences, the textbook also explores the relevant aspects of the economic, social and political developments affecting both Polar areas (e.g., questions of Polar governance, economics, and the political situation in some of the Arctic areas). The authors hope that this pioneering work will encourage anybody interested in Polar Law to pursue further studies, research or cooperation on the many initiatives which take place within the Nordic, Arctic and global community in relation not just to the Arctic but also to the Antarctic.



Law of the Sea and Governance of Shipping in the Arctic and Antarctic

The 1982 UN Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC), which came into force in November 1994, might be described as setting the legal foundations for marine environmental protection and controlling marine resource exploitations in all the world's oceans, including the Polar seas. Having 320 articles and nine Annexes, the Convention sets out a basic requirement for all states to protect and preserve the marine environment (Art. 194) and to cooperate in developing global standards for shipping (Art. 211) and global and regional standards for land-based marine pollution (Art. 207), ocean dumping (Art. 210) and seabed activities (Art. 208). States also have an obligation to subject all activities under their jurisdiction or control which may cause substantial pollution or significant harmful changes to the marine environment to environmental impact assessment procedures (Art. 206).


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