Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Symposium: Arctic Sovereignty: Cold Facts, Hot Issues

The Southwestern Journal of International Law will host a symposium, October 3, 2008, in Los Angeles. The topic is "Arctic Sovereignty: Cold Facts, Hot Issues." The program is here. Why attend?

With the Arctic ice melting, anticipated increases in Arctic shipping, tourism and economic activity, Russia's flag-planting at the North Pole last summer, and the recent Greenland summit, there has been tremendous attention given to the "race to the Arctic." For Canada, climate change and runaway oil prices have vaulted Arctic sovereignty to the top of Ottawa's economic, defense, and diplomatic concerns. For the U.S., the legal issues related to the Arctic and the Northwest Passage have recently taken on increased importance, spurring a renewed interest in joining the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention.

Drawing on Southwestern's strong ties with Canada, this one-day symposium will bring together leading legal figures from throughout North America to analyze the critical issues raised by the Arctic sovereignty debate. Speakers will focus not only on the territorial and security claims that the debate raises, but will also explore how issues of Arctic sovereignty relate to the environment and international environmental law, as well as indigenous and human rights. The symposium is expected to be the first, comprehensive U.S. law school conference focused on Arctic sovereignty.