Antarctica

Introduction

Antarctica - Research Guide International Law

Antarctica is Earth’s fifth-largest and southernmost continent. It is located in the Antarctic region of the southern hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice. It has no human population of its own, except for some permanent manned scientific research stations. Seven sovereign states have claimed sectors of land in Antarctica, but none of these claims have been recognized by other countries. In 1959 the Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington to establish Antarctica as a region of peace and cooperation, and to deal with issues relating to claims of sovereignty. Its primary purpose is to ensure “in the interests of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord”. The Treaty is at the core of a number of related agreements which, together with the measures taken under the Antarctic Treaty and related agreements are often called the Antarctic Treaty system.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for legal research on Antarctica. It provides the basic materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code 68a. Polar Regions and subject headings (keywords) Antarctica and Antarctic Treaty (Washington, D.C., 1 December 1959) are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Bibliography

Reference works

Recent books

Leading articles

Documents

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

New titles

The Peace Palace Library has a collection of over a million publications. Each week, about six hundred new titles are added to our collection: books, articles, documents, online publications, etc. On this page, access is provided to this week’s new titles on the Polar Regions. It covers a wide variety of topics relating to the Arctic, the Antarctic, Spitsbergen and Greenland. These include: regional and international governance issues, peace and security, dispute settlement, climate change, environmental protection, territorial claims and border disputes, law of the sea, exploration, exploitation of oil, gas and minerals, maritime navigation, and human rights issues, such as autonomy and self-determination, the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources, their cultural rights and cultural heritage.

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  • The Yearbook of Polar Law, Volume 5, 2013.

    The Yearbook of Polar Law, Volume 5, 2013.

    The Yearbook of Polar Law, is based at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Akureyri in Iceland and the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law (Arctic Centre/University of Lapland) in Finland and covers a wide variety of topics relating to the Arctic and the Antarctic. This is the fifth volume of The Yearbook of Polar Law. Its contents is derived from the presentations made at the Fifth Symposium on Polar Law that was held in Rovaniemi, Finland, in September 2012.

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  • Molenaar, E.J., A.G. Oude Elferink and D.R. Rothwell (eds.), The Law of the Sea and the Polar Regions: Interactions between Global and Regional Regimes, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013.

    Molenaar, E.J., A.G. Oude Elferink and D.R. Rothwell (eds.), The Law of the Sea and the Polar Regions: Interactions between Global and Regional Regimes, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013.

    This book analyzes of the contemporary law of the sea and related areas of international law in Antarctica and the Arctic, with a particular focus upon the interaction of global and regional regimes. The global component of the international law of the sea – principally the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – applies to the entire marine domain in both polar regions but explicitly requires regional implementation or acknowledges its usefulness. This volume critically examines regional regimes for the Arctic and Antarctic on science, maritime security, fisheries and shipping by means of common research questions; thus enabling an overall synthesis and identification of trends, differences and similarities.

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  • Gorostegui Obanoz, J.J. y R. Waghorn Gallegos, Chile en la Antártica: nuevos desafíos y perspectivas, Santiago, IDEA/ACADE, 2012.

    Gorostegui Obanoz, J.J. y R. Waghorn Gallegos, Chile en la Antártica: nuevos desafíos y perspectivas, Santiago, IDEA/ACADE, 2012.

    Abordando aspectos específicos sobre la acción de nuestro país en el continente antártico, las dos investigaciones aquí reunidas confieren una excelente oportunidad para apreciar y analizar con detenimiento los elementos que caracterizan la política antártica nacional, así como sus potencialidades y desafíos en el ámbito político, geográfico y jurídico. Mientras, por una parte, José Javier Gorostegui nos plantea el terreno de la aplicacion de Derecho de Mar y sus implacancias para los intereses y derechos antartidos considerando a distintos actores, por otra, Rodrigo Waghorn nos detalla y contextualiza la amplia estructura organizacional y de gestion publica que implica una permanente renovacion de ideas y objectivos para la presencia efectiva de Chile en la Antártica.

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  • Dodds, K., The Antarctic: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.

    Dodds, K., The Antarctic: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.

    The Antarctic is one the most hostile natural environments in the world. It is an extraordinary physical space, which changes significantly in shape and size with the passing of the seasons. Politically, it is unique as it contains one of the few areas of continental space not claimed by any nation-state. Scientifically, the continental ice sheet has provided us with vital evidence about the Earth’s past climate. In this Very Short Introduction, Klaus Dodds provides a modern account of Antarctica, highlighting the main issues facing the continent today. Looking at how the Antarctic has been explored and represented in the last hundred years, Dodds considers the main exploratory and scientific achievements of the region. He explains how processes such as globalization mean that the Antarctic is increasingly involved in a wider circuit of ideas, goods, people, trade, and governance – all of which have an impact on the future of the region.

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  • Brady, A.-M. (ed.), The Emerging Politics of Antarctica, London, Routledge, 2012.

    Brady, A.-M. (ed.), The Emerging Politics of Antarctica, London, Routledge, 2012.

    This book examines the post-Cold War challenges facing Antarctic governance. It seeks to understand the interests of new players in Antarctic affairs such as China, India, Korea and Malaysia, and how other key players such as Russia and the USA or claimant states such as New Zealand or France are coping in the new global order. Antarctica is the world’s fifth largest continent and its territories are claimed by seven different states. Since 1961 Antarctica has been managed under the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), a regime which, according to its critics, by the terms of its membership effectively excludes most of the nations of the world. This book examines the post-Cold War challenges facing Antarctic governance, and is organized thematically into three sections: Part 1 considers the role of Antarctic politics in the current post-Cold War, post-colonial era and the impact this new political environment is having on the ATS. Part 2 looks at the competing foreign policy objectives of a representative range of countries with Antarctic activities. Part 3 examines issues that have the potential to destabilise the order of the Antarctic Treaty System, such as unrestricted tourism and new advances in science and technology. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of international politics, polar studies and foreign policy studies.

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  • Hemmings, A.D. and D.R. Rothwell (eds.), Antarctic Security in the Twenty-First Century: Legal and Policy Perspectives, Abingdon, Routledge, 2012.

    Hemmings, A.D. and D.R. Rothwell (eds.), Antarctic Security in the Twenty-First Century: Legal and Policy Perspectives, Abingdon, Routledge, 2012.

    The Antarctic Treaty (1959) was adopted for the purpose of bringing peace and stability to Antarctica and to facilitate cooperation in scientific research conducted on and around the continent. It has now been over fifty years since the signing of the treaty, nevertheless security continues to drive and shape the laws and policy regime which governs the region. Antarctic Security in the Twenty-First Century: Legal and Policy Perspectives assess Antarctic security from multiple legal and policy perspectives. This book reviews the existing security construct in Antarctica, critically assesses its status in the early part of the Twenty-First century and considers how Antarctic security may be viewed in both the immediate and distant future. The book assesses emerging new security threats, including the impact of climate change and the issues arising from increased human traffic to Antarctica by scientists, tourists, and mariners. The authors call into question whether the existing Antarctic security construct framed around the Antarctic Treaty remains viable, or whether new Antarctic paradigms are necessary for the future governance of the region. The contributions to this volume engage with a security discourse which has expanded beyond the traditional military domain to include notions of security from the perspective of economics, the environment and bio-security. This book provides a contemporary and innovative approach to Antarctic issues which will be of interest to scholars of international law, international relations, security studies and political science as well as policy makers, lawyers and government officials with an interest in the region.

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Database

Subscription-based

  • Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Antarctica, by Silja Vöneky and Sange Addison-Agyei. The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL) is a comprehensive online resource containing over 1600 peer-reviewed articles on every aspect of public international law. It has been re-designed to improve the look and feel of the site, and the search functionality. Written and edited by an incomparable team of over 800 scholars and practitioners, published in partnership with the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, and updated throughout the year. All included articles are peer-reviewed and treat international law from a global/regional perspective. This major reference work is essential for anyone researching or teaching international law.

Free Access

  • Antarctic Treaty Database (Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty)
    In this database you can find the text of measures adopted by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (including all recommendations, measures, decisions and resolutions) from 1961 to now together with their attachments and information on their legal status. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the texts in the database, only the text of the printed version of the Final Report of the ATCM is the authentic text. You can find photographic copies of the printed version under “Final Reports” below.  The data contained in this database on Parties to the Treaty and the Environment Protocol and on the approval of Recommendations and Measures derive from the official data maintained by the United States State Department as Depositary of the Antarctic Treaty.

  • Final Reports (Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty)
    Most of Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and Special Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting Final Reports are now available in .PDF format for browsing or downloading.

  • Meeting Documents (Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty)
    This database gives access to the available material presented to the ATCM as Working Papers, Information Papers and Secretariat Papers.

  • Documentation Centre (Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty)
    The Documentation Centre provides an online catalogue of the publications in the Secretariat´s library and a digital set of documents concerning Antarctic legislation, policy and programmes.

Blogs

  • Arctic Sovereignty: Icy Roads to the North Pole

    Canada, the US, Norway, Russia, and Denmark have been gathering scientific evidence for more than a decade in an effort to increase their continental shelf claims in the Arctic Ocean Region.The potential delimitation dispute between Canada, Russia and Denmark seems to focus on the Lomonosov Ridge. The North Pole is located about 400 nautical miles from the northernmost island of Canada, Denmark, Norway and the Russian Federation. Under international law coastal state rights over the water columns are limited to the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone, using the state’s territorial sea baselines as starting point.

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  • The International Politics of Whaling : Recent Developments

    Whales – large, mysterious, intelligent, and endangered. Has any mammal inspired such romantic images of the sea and love for nature as much as the whale, yet aroused such controversy in global environmental conservation? King of the Seas, symbol of the environmental movement, meat and oil for commercial whaling. Over the years, large-scale commercial whaling [...]

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  • Holiday on Ice?

    Environmental problems caused by tourism in Antarctica

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See also

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