The Yearbook of Polar Law, based at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Akureyri in Iceland, covers a wide variety of topics relating to the Arctic and the Antarctic. These include:
- human rights issues, such as autonomy and self-government vs self-determination, the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources and cultural rights and cultural heritage, indigenous traditional knowledge
- local and national governance issues
- environmental law, climate change, security and environment implications of climate change, protected areas and species
- regulatory, governance and management agreements and arrangements for marine environments, marine mammals, fisheries conservation and other biological/mineral/oil resources
- law of the sea, the retreating sea ice, continental shelf claims
- territorial claims and border disputes on both land and at sea
- peace and security, dispute settlement
- jurisdictional and other issues re the exploration, exploitation and shipping of oil, gas and minerals, bioprospecting
- trade law, potential shipping lines through the northwest and northeast passages, maritime law and transportation law, and
- the roles and actual involvement of international organizations in the Polar regions, such as the Arctic Council, the European Union, the International Whaling Commission, the Nordic Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United Nations, as well as NGOs.
The Yearbook of Polar Law is also available
The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is an academic institution formed in 1984 at the University of Lund, Sweden. The Institute is named after a distinguished Swedish diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg, in recognition of his humanitarian accomplishments in Hungary during the Second World War.
The purpose of the Institute is to promote research, training and academic education in the broad field of human rights and humanitarian law, with a basis in public international law and also drawing on other academic disciplines. The Institute's programmes also cover refugee law, international labour standards, intellectual property rights, international criminal law, democracy, and good governance, as set forth in instruments and guidelines adopted by intergovernmental organizations.
The Institute co-operates closely with the University of Lund and several other academic institutions and international organisations. The RWI participates in networks of Nordic, European and international human rights institutes and works actively with them on various human rights and international development projects. In cooperation with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and with other institutions, the Institute organizes extensive academic and training programmes for the dissemination of human rights standards, democratic values and the rule of law, in Sweden and in several other countries.
Together with Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute has initiated four series of publications and publishes a number of related books and journals.
The series published an average of 1,5 volumes per year over the last 5 years.
This article surveys some of the many international human rights law issues that come up in connection with the Arctic, such as the rights of indigenous peoples and the formulation of these rights in a draft Nordic Sami Convention. The focus, however, is on recent developments concerning the status of Greenland as a result of an agreement concluded in 2008 between the Danish and Greenlandic authorities. This agreement foresees not only a significant increase in self-government but also opens the door for the Greenlandic people to create an independent State through the exercise of the right to external self-determination as a matter of political decolonisation of an overseas colonial territory.