The U of A Faculty of Law's '2012-13 Legal Forum Centenary Speakers Series' presents a talk by Professor Donald Rothwell on 'Arctic Sovereignty..'

Katherine Thompson - 25 October 2013

Donald R. Rothwell, Professor of International Law, and Head of School at the ANU College of Law, Australian National University, to speak on the subject of " Arctic Sovereignty and its Legal Significance for Canada" at the Faculty of Law's 2012-13 Legal Forum Centenary Speakers Series, on Tuesday, October 29, 2013.

Throughout much of the Twentieth Century there was an ongoing debate within Canada as to the status of its territorial claims in the Arctic. Following the voyage of the SS Manhattan in 1969 that debate was joined to also encompass consideration of Canadian Arctic maritime sovereignty. With the exception of the disputed Hans Island, over which Canada and Denmark have agreed to disagree, there is no direct challenge to Canadian Arctic sovereignty in 2013. Nevertheless, it has been a persistent theme in Canadian academic and political discourse for much of the past decade that Canada's Arctic sovereignty is threatened. Canada, along with all of the Arctic states, is also beginning to face the reality that the Arctic is facing rapid globalization partly as a result of climate change and the melting of the Arctic ice but also because of the growing interest of non-Arctic states in accessing the Arctic.

This paper seeks to challenge some of the perceptions that have developed with respect to Canadian Arctic sovereignty from the perspective of international law. Consideration will be given to the status of Canada's territorial and maritime claims in the Arctic, and the rights and obligations that Canada has in the Arctic as a party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Particular attention will be given to Canada's claims to an Arctic outer continental shelf, the regulation and management of the Northwest Passage, and the freedoms of navigation enjoyed by non-Arctic states within Canada's exclusive economic zone.

Donald R Rothwell (B.A., LL.B. (Hons), LL.M., M.A., Ph.D.) is Professor of International Law, and Head of School at the ANU College of Law, Australian National University where he has taught since July 2006, and a graduate of the University of Alberta (LLM, 1984). His research has a specific focus on law of the sea, law of the polar regions, and implementation of international law within Australia as reflected in over 160 articles, book chapters and notes in international and Australian publications.

Rothwell has authored, co-authored or edited 17 books including most recently his co-edited work with Alex Oude Elferink and Erik Molenaar, The Law of the Sea and Polar Regions: Interactions between Global and Regional Regimes (Brill), and Law of the Sea (Edward Elgar, 2013). Major career works include The International Law of the Sea (Hart, 2010) with Tim Stephens, and The Polar Regions and the Development of International Law (CUP, 1996). Rothwell is also coordinating editor of the Oxford Handbook on the Law of the Sea (forthcoming, 2015) and Co-Editor of the Australian Year Book of International Law.

In 2012 he was appointed as Rapporteur of the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on 'Baselines under the International Law of the Sea'. He has acted as a consultant or been a member of expert groups for UNEP, UNDP, IUCN, the Australian Government, and acted as advisor to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). In 2012 Rothwell was also appointed an inaugural ANU Public Policy Fellow by the ANU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Young.

For a more detailed bio click here

The 2012-13 Legal Forum Centenary Speakers Series lecture presents:

'Arctic Sovereignty and its Legal Significance for Canada'


Donald R. Rothwell, Professor of International Law, and Head of School at the ANU College of Law, Australian National University

Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Rooms 231/237, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta (111 st & 89 ave), Edmonton, AB

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