The Yearbook of Polar Law covers a wide variety of law and policy topics relating to the Arctic and the Antarctic, and even the Third Pole. Many of the articles draw on presentations made at the annual Symposiums on Polar Law. The Editors-in-Chief are Gudmundur Alfredsson of the Stefansson Arctic Institute in Akureyri and the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, Julia Jabour of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Timo Koivurova of the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, and Akiho Shibata of the Polar Cooperation Research Centre, Kobe University.
Articles published in the Yearbook are peer reviewed, unless otherwise noted. The Yearbook will also carry book reviews and occasional news stories.
The topics covered in the Yearbook include:
- human rights issues, such as autonomy, self-government and self-determination, the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources, cultural rights and cultural heritage, and indigenous traditional knowledge
- local, national and corporate governance issues
- environmental law, climate change, security and human rights implications of climate change, protected areas and species, and biodiversity
- regulatory and management agreements and arrangements for marine environments, marine mammals, fisheries conservation and other biological/mineral/oil resources
- jurisdictional and other issues re the exploration, exploitation and shipping of oil, gas and minerals
- law of the sea, the retreating sea ice, and continental shelf claims
- trade law, potential shipping lines through the northwest and northeast passages, maritime law and transportation law
- territorial claims and border disputes on both land and at sea
- peace and security, and dispute settlement
- the roles and actual involvement of international organizations in the polar regions, such as the Arctic Council, the Nordic Council, the International Whaling Commission, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United Nations, and
- the activities of NGOs, think tanks and academic institutions
The papers in this volume are principally based on presentations at the Polar Law Symposium, held online with logistical support by the Kobe University Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC), in November 2020.