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Polar Law Symposium 2018 in Tromsø

In October, the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea (JCLOS) and the research group for Sami Law at UiT have the honor of hosting the most important conference in the world on Polar Law and Policy – for the first time in Norway.

Trude Haugseth Moe 04.07.2018 10:01   (Sist oppdatert: 04.07.2018 10:46)

Sarah Mackie, PhD student from Newcastle and guest resarcher at JCLOS, is looking forward to the 11th Polar Law Symposium in Tromsø. Foto: Trude Haugseth Moe.

The Polar Law Symposium is an annual event, first held at the University of Akureyri, Iceland in 2008. Since then the PLS has been organized at different venues such as the University of Lapland (Rovaniemi, Finland), University of Greenland and University of Tasmania (Hobart, Australia).

 The 11th PLS to be organized by JCLOS and the research group for Sami Lawat UiT The Arctic University of Norway, from 2 – 4- October will be  the first time that the symposium has been held in Norway,.

The purpose

Tore Henriksen, director of the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea. Foto: T.H. Moe

Professor Tore Henriksen, the director of JCLOS at UiT, feels honored to be hosting this year’s conference.

“The purpose of the Symposiums is to examine, in detail, the implications of the challenges faced by the Polar Regions for international law and policy, and to make recommendations on appropriate actions by States, policy makers and other international actors to respond to these emerging and re-emerging challenges”, says Tore Henriksen,

The proceedings of the symposium will be published in the Yearbook of Polar Law through the Brill publishing house.

Most important conference

“It is definitely the most important conference in the world in Polar Law. It welcomes anyone with an interest in governance administration and justice”

says Sarah Mackie, a PhD Student from Newcastle University, for the time being a guest researcher at JCLOS, where she studies wildlife protection in Arctic Norway.

Mackie has participated at the symposium once before, and at the symposium in Tromsø, she will be presenting a paper on environmental justice and polar bear protection.

Sarah Mackie will present a paper at the symposium, on Environmental justice int the north and Polar bear protection. Foto: Colourbox

Academics from all across the world

“The conference brings together experts on both the Arctic and the Antarctic, from all across the world. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet academics working in the same field”,

says Mackie.

The speakers this year are from Denmark, Iceland, USA, Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan, England, The Netherlands, China, Switzerland, Canada, and Australia, Sweden.

Mackie appreciates that the speakers represent academics in various stages in their career.

“It is exciting for early career researchers to be able to present their work alongside more established academics”, Mackie says.


As with previous symposia the 11th Polar Law Symposium includes different themes in relation to the polar regions including the rights of indigenous peoples in the Arctic, governance of maritime areas, climate law and the polar regions, sustainable development in the regions and different aspects of justice pertaining to these regions.

For whom?

The Symposium will attract renowned scholars, post-doctoral and doctoral researchers from all across the world to share research-based scientific knowledge on diverse polar relevant issues.  

“We also aim to include participants from both national and international governmental bodies, representatives from industry and from relevant interests groups– like indigenous people’s NGOs, workers NGOs and environmental NGOs”, says professor Tore Henriksen.

Please click here for registration.

You may find more information here or  by contacting: christin.skjervold@uit.no