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32 Polar Oceans and Law of the Sea

Karen N Scott, David L VanderZwaag

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Law of the Sea

Edited By: Donald R. Rothwell, Alex G. Oude Elferink, Karen N. Scott, Tim Stephens

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 17 June 2021

Law of the sea — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) — Continental shelf

This chapter assesses the implementation of the law of the sea in the Arctic Ocean and Southern Ocean, focusing on the issues of disputed sovereignty, environmental vulnerabilities, and access to marine resources. It highlights how the two regions are ‘poles together’, sharing some key governance similarities, such as being subject to general law of the sea provisions applicable to maritime safety and environmental protection. It describes how the regions are ‘poles apart’ by examining the differing law of the sea contexts and divergent regional approaches and challenges to ocean governance in the Arctic and Antarctic, respectively. It identifies future challenges for both regions focusing on institutional developments in the Arctic and the development of new spatially-focused conservation tools in the Antarctic.

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