The Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement: Text, Framing and Logics

In: The Yearbook of Polar Law Online
Corine Wood-Donnelly Brunel University

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The 2011 ‘Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic’ (henceforth SAR Agreement) is the first instrument of hard law produced by the eight states of the Arctic Council. While the agreement ostensibly addresses search and rescue related issues for the Arctic region, it is capable of being understood in a variety of legal, political and cultural contexts. Three elements are teased out in particular – the SAR Agreement as a legal policy document, as indicative of evolving Arctic international relations, and as indicative of particular geopolitical logics. As the paper concludes, however, the SAR Agreement has not been entirely free of political intrigue.

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