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Free Space

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on 18 May 2015

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Transcript of Free Space

Race to the Arctic
Beaufort Sea
Canada's Sovereignty
Northwest Passage
Background Information
Free Space
Thomas Hansel and Ka Man Shing
Background Information
Prime Target?
Canada's Sovereignty
Northwest Passage
Beaufort Sea
Hans Island
Are there any International Regulatory Systems in place?
The Future of the Arctic Legal Regime
Concluding Remarks
Territorial Claims by Arctic States
Dispute over maximising territorial claims over the Arctic region
Territorial claims regulated by United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) 1982 which can grant states the permission to extend territorial claims beyond the standard 200nm EEZ boundary line

Prime Target?
Resourceful nature
Develop any national economic strategy
Estimated 13% of the world's discovered and drillable oil and 30% of the world's undiscovered and recoverable natural gas as well as precious metals can be found in the Arctic
Economic potential in hydrocarbon resources:
$1 trillion in the U.S. Arctic
$1.7 trillion in the Russian Arctic

In sum, humans gain much from the Arctic's living resources
Arctic sovereignty is a key part of Canada's history and future
Fun Facts

40% of the country's landmass is in its three northern territories

The country has 162,000km of Arctic coastline
Sea route through the Arctic Ocean which passes through many Canadian islands
who owns the International strait/shipping route?

Round 1: Canada vs. U.S.
Canadian internal waters'
, belongs to the Arctic Archipelago which foreign vessels must request permission to pass

'international waters'
open to all, demonstrated this belief by sending
(1969) and the U.S. Coast Guard Ship
Polar Sea
(1985) into Canada's Arctic
1986: Canada issued declaration that reaffirmed Canada's right to the waters
U.S. initially denied recognition of this declaration
1988: both, the U.S. and Canada signed an agreement that
resolved the issue

Reconciliation option: joint management of the Passage
Set aside claims and sign a bilateral treaty?
Modeled on St Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation - jointly operated by Canadian and American public corporations, overseen by respective governments

sovereignty and claim of the Passage waters would be put into jeopardy

adverse impact on cooperation with other Arctic states
: how to divide the Beaufort Sea?
Substantial reserves of oil and natural gas under its shelf such as the Amauligak field

Round 2: Canada vs. U.S.
boundary between Alaska and Canada be equidistant
advocates for it to be on the 141st meridian west
Difference creates a wedge with an area of around 8,100 sq mil that is claimed by both states
Both bound by Convention on the Continental Shelf 1958:
"boundaries shall be
Determined by the ICJ
Litigation may jeopardise the parties coming to a peaceful resolution
Take inspiration from Russia and Norway over the Barents Sea dispute (2011)
Russia and Norway ended a bitter 40-year dispute over their maritime borders and signed a treaty allowing new oil and gas exploration in the Arctic
The treaty divides the disputed area equally between the two countries
Both countries claimed a 175,000 sq km (67,567 sq mile) zone

Example of 'good practice' in bilateral border resolutions, diplomatic courtesy and cooperation
Pressure for Canada and the U.S. to do the same
Hans Island
small and unpopulated island located in the Nares Strait

Indication that the island by geological and geomorphical evidence belonging to Greenland, as a part of the Kingdom of Denmark
No resolutions/universal agreement as of yet
Progression in 2011: both states were close to resolving dispute via a resolution however it
did not contain a solution

Shared jurisdiction of Hans Island
Splitting the border down the middle of the 1.2sqkm knoll which would give Canada a border with Denmark
Test of ICJ?
International Regulatory Systems
Primarily dominated by individual legal systems of those states which border the Arctic
No comprehensive regional legal governance in the Arctic compared to the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS)

Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) 1991
Later developed into the
Arctic Council
in 1996
First step of cooperation in the Arctic signed by 8 Arctic Nations to
'protect the Arctic's marine environment, jointly prepare and respond to emergencies'
No legal personality
Relies on cooperation from MS

Forum for
problems rather than
United Nations
Only recognised authority for claims of territory


via customary international law?

States accept UN authority not because the UN has any real ability to place punitive actions but this would bear consequences with other countries in UN
International treaty grants sovereignty to countries of up to 200nm from their coasts in the EEZ
Instrumental in determining continental shelf and may resolve outstanding disputes

Existing regime could be extended and strengthened instead of forming a new one
Issue with forming new convention: countries and their lack of want to diminish their rights in the sovereign area
Ilulissat Declaration 2008
Foster unity and cooperation in the Arctic
Reiterates the commitment that the five Arctic coastal states have made to settle any conflicting territorial claims
No new legal framework, binds the parties to proceed using guidelines in UNCLOS
Progression and willingness of states to work together in settling their disputes
The Future of the Legal Arctic Regime
1. Status quo

2. Issues dealt with one at a time

3. Legally binding regime
Concluding Remarks
As landscape changes, the Arctic's regional identity will continue to evolve
As shown in the case studies there does not seem to be a feasible resolution in the foreseeable future
No international legally binding regime
In the meantime countries should continue to cooperate with the UN
What is "free space"?
3 types of space:
Unclaimed Space--Aborigines' Conquest, .Com boom

Debatably claimed space--Conquest of the Aborigines' land, Terra Nullius, Manifest Destiny

Definitely claimed space--Israel, Ukraine, War
Unclaimed Space
-Mankind's expansion from the African Continent to basically the rest of the world

-The .Com boom that erupted from the dawn of the internet age.

-No clever phrasing or legalese was necessary for these types of claims, as the space was basically free. Though rules were set forth for the .com boom to regulate the ownership of the domain names.
Debatably claimed space
Discussion Questions


-Manifest Destiny

-Terra Nullius

-Displaced Property
after WW2

Is the Arctic Council still the best venue to handle questions regarding the Arctic?
How will the role of non-Arctic states develop in the future?
Roles/responsibilities of commercial industry in helping to develop solutions to some emerging challenges and concerns of increased traffic in the Arctic region?
Do you think permanent observer states should be granted voting rights in regards to the Arctic?

Should we even care about the free space of space? Or do you see this as some sort of science fiction attempt at law?
What do you take of this Common Heritage Doctrine in application to the use of space in outer space?
Do you think this doctrine will stand up when personal interest (wanting to get off of the earth before it melts into the sun) or commercial interests (wanting to make the $1 Trillion that is allegedly attainable from certain asteroids) become involved?
Does this common heritage doctrine hinder growth and progress towards space colonization/commercialization?
Should we recognize previous claims of space in outer space? i.e. Should Russia have the rights to the route that Sputnik used? Should the US have the rights to the moon that they allegedly stuck a flag into?
Should the exploration of space be a communal project amongst governments (i.e. NASA/ESA collaboration) or should the governments contract out this work?
Should the corporations that have created the space crafts with the ability to harvest goods from space be reimbursed for their work or should this just be considered their offering for the good of all mankind?
Clearly claimed space

-Russia and Ukraine

-The gentrifying Wars on Terror and Drugs

-The Louisiana Purchase

-The purchase of Domain Names
N. America as an example of all three types of space
Free Space in Outer Space
Currently, the space of outer space is one of these debatably claimed spaces. The treaties on the subject do not allow for the ownership of celestial bodies, though individuals have been trading claims for this land.
Art. 11 Par. 3 of The Moon Agreement
"Neither the surface nor the subsurface of the moon or other celestial body shall become property of any state, international governement... or any person."
The Outer Space Treaty Art. 2
"Outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means."
The Common Heritage Doctrine
Certain property should not be owned by individuals and should instead be used for the good of all mankind.
Current Free Space:
First, the Native Americans spread out across the land claiming this unclaimed land as their own.

Next, the imperial powers came across the sea and claimed the Native American's land as their own, as the Native Americans were unable to maintain valid property claims and were in the way of the progress that the colonists were destined to make.

Then, the imperial powers began trading their valid property claims. i.e. the Louisiana Purchase.

Now, the United States is using the gentrification justification as a way to assert control over lands with recognized claims.
Full transcript