International Security and International Law in the Northwest Passage

24 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2010

See all articles by James Kraska

James Kraska

Stockton Center for International Law, U.S. Naval War College; Harvard University - Harvard Law School; University of California Berkeley School of Law; Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Concern over the loss of sea ice has renewed discussions over the legal status of the Arctic and subarctic transcontinental maritime route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, referred to as the “Northwest Passage.” Over the past thirty years, Canada has maintained that the waters of the Passage are some combination of internal waters or territorial seas. Applying the rules of international law, as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, suggests that the Passage is a strait used for international navigation.Expressing concerns over maritime safety and security, recognition of northern sovereignty, and protection of the fragile Arctic environment, Ottawa has sought to exercise greater authority over the Passage. This Article suggests that Canada can best achieve widespread global support for managing its maritime Arctic by acknowledging that the Passage constitutes an international strait and working through the International Maritime Organization to develop a comprehensive package of internationally accepted regulations.

Keywords: Arctic, Northwest Passage, Canada, Polar, Security, International Law, Law of the Sea, Oceans Law

Suggested Citation

Kraska, James, International Security and International Law in the Northwest Passage (2009). Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 42, pp. 1109-1132, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1648666

James Kraska (Contact Author)

Stockton Center for International Law, U.S. Naval War College ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://https://www.usnwc.edu/Academics/Faculty/James-C--Kraska.aspx

Harvard University - Harvard Law School ( email )

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University of California Berkeley School of Law ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://https://www.law.berkeley.edu

Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) ( email )

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