Principles of International Environmental Law

By Philippe Sands | Go to book overview

14

The polar regions: Antarctica and the Arctic

R. D. Hayton, ‘The Antarctic Settlement of 1959’, 54 AJIL 349 (1960); B. Boczek,
‘The Protection of the Antarctic Ecosystem: A Study in International Environmen-
tal Law’, 13 Ocean Development and International Law 347 (1983); J. E. Carroll, ‘Of
Icebergs, Oil Wells, and Treaties: Hydrocarbon Exploitation Offshore Antarctica’,
19 Stanford Journal of International Law 207 (1983); S. Lyster, International Wildlife
Law
(1985), 156–177; C. C. Joyner, ‘Protection of the Antarctic Environment: Re-
thinking the Problems and Prospects’, 19 Cornell International Law Journal 259
(1986); G. Triggs (ed.), The Antarctic Treaty Regime: Law, Environment, and Re-
sources
(1987); W. Bush, Antarctica and International Law (3 vols., 1982–8); J.
Verhoeven, P. Sands and M. Bruce (eds.), The Antarctic Environment and Inter-
national Law
(1992); A. Watts, International Law and the Antarctic Treaty System
(1992); L. A. Kimball, ‘Environmental Law and Policy in Antarctica’, in P. Sands
(ed.), Greening International Law (1993), 122; J. Heap, Handbook of the Antarctic
Treaty System
(1994, 8th edn); F. Francioni and T. Scovazzi (eds.), International
Law for Antarctica
(1996, 2nd edn); D. Rothwell, The Polar Regions and the Devel-
opment of International Law
(1996); O. S. Stokke and D. Vidas (eds.), Governing
the Antarctic: The Effectiveness and Legitimacy of the Antarctic Treaty System
(1996);
J. M. Spectar, ‘Saving the Ice Princess: NGOs, Antarctica and International Law
in the New Millennium’, 23 Suffolk Transnational Law Review 57 (1999); D. Vidas
(ed.), Implementing the Environmental Protection Regime for the Antarctic (2000);
D. Vidas (ed.), Protecting the Polar Marine Environment (2000).

The Antarctic and the Arctic polar regions are subject to special regional rules of environmental protection. These rules reflect the unique physical conditions of these areas and the important role they play in maintaining regional and global environmental conditions. They also provide useful models for the development of international environmental law in other regions and globally. For the Antarctic, the environmental rules have developed in the context of complex legal issues arising from claims made by some states to sovereign rights over Antarctic territory, and the opposing view of most other states that the Antarctic is part of the global commons and not subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of any state. These differences have not prevented the adoption of innovative and potentially far-reaching rules for the protection of the Antarctic

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