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Rediscovering the importance of Antarctic Law for the early twenty-first century


Arpi, B and McGee, J, Rediscovering the importance of Antarctic Law for the early twenty-first century, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 76, (3) pp. 248-265. ISSN 1035-7718 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2022 Australian Institute of International Affairs

DOI: doi:10.1080/10357718.2022.2056875


International law provides a system of legal order for the conduct of international relations. Within this system, states may constitute regional legal regimes in a continuous geographical area to address their own regional problems. In Antarctica, states active in the region have developed a sui generis regional legal regime (conceptualised here as 'Antarctic Law') to address problems of the Antarctic. During most of the twentieth century, Antarctic Law played a central role in understanding human interaction within, and international ordering of, the Antarctic region. However, over the last two decades, understanding the importance of the legal and regional nature of Antarctic law has become less prominent. Instead, Antarctic scholarship (including legal analysis) has moved towards a universalist perspective, interdisciplinary scholarship and critical approaches. We argue these approaches have under-appreciated the importance of the legal ordering of the region. New challenges within the region will require responses that draw on this regional legal ordering. This paper therefore aims to be a first step towards rediscovering the importance of the concept of ‘Antarctic Law’ as a regional and legal regime with a key role in providing successful international order within the Antarctic region to meet the challenges of the early twenty-first century.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctica, law, international law, regionalism, legal regimes, environment
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Environmental and resources law
Research Field:Environmental law
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Arpi, B (Mr Bruno Arpi)
UTAS Author:McGee, J (Associate Professor Jeffrey McGee)
ID Code:150162
Year Published:2022
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP190101214)
Deposited By:Office of the Faculty of Law
Deposited On:2022-05-30
Last Modified:2022-07-22

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