Introduction to Polar Law

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Polar Law, Arctic, Antarctic, Antarctic Treaty System


This timely Research Handbook explores the concept of polar law as a coherent body of law and as a set of rules and principles that applies to both the Arctic and Antarctic. It captures the evolution of polar law and policy, identifying future directions for research in this emerging and growing field.

Expert international contributors analyse the concept of polar law across a range of areas including human rights, bioprospecting, tourism, environmental protection and fisheries management. They examine how Antarctic and Arctic regional regimes contribute to polar law, scrutinizing international treaties, agreements and arrangements. With a focus on the evolution of polar law in the context of the Anthropocene, chapters cover key issues related to the poles, such as climate change, minerals exploration and boundary disputes. Demonstrating the benefits of polar as opposed to bipolar law, this Research Handbook provides a critical assessment of contemporary challenges to the field.

Incorporating a diverse range of themes and topics, this Research Handbook will be a valuable resource for academics and students of polar law as well as those interested in how international law applies to the polar regions. It will also be beneficial for diplomats and policy makers working in polar law and policy fields.