Call for papers

International Symposium at the Faculty of Law, University of Tromsø, Norway

17th-19th of November 2013

We welcome contributions from researchers dealing with the following or related questions. Papers may be based on legal, theoretical, philosophical, empirical or other approaches.


The abstract should not exceed two pages, and may be sent to:


Extractive Industries in the North – what about Environmental Law and Indigenous Peoples Rights?


Indigenous territories in the North have rich deposits of oil, gas and different types of valuable minerals. Extractive industries in such areas are fairly controversial, and there have been current debates on these issues for years. This applies for extractive industries in traditional sami areas in the Nordic countries, on indigenous territories in Russia, in Inuit Greenland, in Canada and Alaska.


It is a global rush in extractive industries, both mineral activities and oil and gas extraction. This is because of a growing global demand for minerals, oil and gas. Commercial actors are progressive, and the governments are positive, even to exploitation all the way up to the North Pole. Several aspects of mineral exploration and exploitation and oil and gas extraction in vulnerable areas can be problematic in relation to indigenous peoples’ rights to land and natural resources, and to international environmental law.

International law provides indigenous peoples extensive substantial and procedural rights, and states have wide-ranging obligations both towards indigenous peoples and to protect the environment and to promote sustainable development. The UN has also established guiding standards for extractive companies operating in or near indigenous areas, The United Nation Guiding principles on business and human rights.


The conference asks whether Indigenous rights and Environmental concerns are adequately addressed in Extractive industry-processes in the North. The topic is highly relevant in a global perspective and is at the core of the priority areas of both the Faculty of Law and the University of Tromsø.


Closing date of submission is 15 August 2013.


We are working on a publication plan for the papers, and will come back with more information on that soon.