Evolution of A Polar Law1

Donald R. Rothwell, Alan D. Hemmings

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    There exists a Polar Law that sits within the framework of international law, and is to be distinguished from the national laws of states with Polar territorial claims. Polar Law first began to emerge in the early 1900s when legal scholars initially grappled with the complexities of applying general international law to the Polar regions. The Permanent Court of International Justice in Eastern Greenland acknowledged that Polar lands were distinctive and that the international law rules that applied elsewhere needed to be modified in a Polar context. The 1959 Antarctic Treaty further developed the distinctiveness of Polar Law and that has been continued with the Arctic Council System spawned by the Arctic Council. Polar Law has evolved to be framed around distinctive responses to territoriality, governance, environment and resources in the Polar regions. In sum, Polar Law reflects a form of international stewardship over the Antarctic and Arctic.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Polar Law
    PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9781788119597
    ISBN (Print)9781788119580
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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