Commencing in August 2008, the University of Akureyri will be offering a Master’s Program in Polar Law. This Program is designed for both lawyers (two semesters leading to an LLM-degree) and non-lawyers (four semesters leading to an MA-degree), preparing them for work in both public and private sector, in national and local governments, international organizations, with indigenous peoples of the Circumpolar North, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations, and national and transnational corporations. The deadline for applications is June 5 for Home/EU students and April 15 for overseas students.
The program provides a unique focus on polar law. It comes about in a timely fashion when climate changes are having a dramatic effect on the Arctic and Antarctic regions, when the opening of the northwest and northeast passages is becoming possible, when current and potential boundary disputes on land and sea remain unresolved, when issues and questions of national and local governance are moving forward on national and international agendas, and not least, when multiple threats to the environment are raising serious danger signals and calling for urgent measures. One of the interesting areas of study, that the Master Program can contribute to, concerns the possible lessons that the legal regime for the Antarctica could provide for solutions in the Arctic region, for example concerning the environment.
In the program, emphasis is placed upon relevant areas of public international law, such as environmental law, the law of the sea, questions of sovereignty and boundary disputes on land and sea, natural resources law, the rights of indigenous peoples in the north, self-government and good governance, and land and resources claims in the polar regions.
Graduate students have the option to carry out research for a Master’s thesis. An academic expert in the relevant field of law supervises the preparation of the thesis. The research should constitute an individual and independent effort in a chosen area of specialization within Polar Law.
In connection with this Program, the University of Akureyri will work closely with the universities in Rovaniemi, Tórshavn and Nuuk. It will also cooperate with the University of the Arctic and universities in Alaska, Canada and Russia. It is also our intent to create ties with the universities in Copenhagen, London, Lund, Oslo, Tromsø and Turku…further info >>
Agust Thor Arnason
University of Akureyri
Faculty of Law and Social Sciences