Ice Law Project 

The Ice Law Project is an interdisciplinary project sponsored by IBRU: Durham University’s Centre for Borders Research and the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Law. The project seeks to investigate the potential for a legal framework that acknowledges the complex geophysical environment in the world’s frozen regions and explores the impact that an ice-sensitive legal system would have on topics ranging from the everyday activities of Arctic residents to the territorial foundations of the modern state.

In meeting these goals, the Ice Law Project addresses three objectives:

  • To examine the challenges posed by polar environments to Western political, legal, and regulatory sytems in order to improve our understanding of historic and potential relationships between the physical nature of the geosphere, ideas about territory, and practices of territorialization.
  • To examine these challenges in order to assist in developing legal and regulatory mechanisms to address the challenges that the physical nature of the polar regions poses to actors there, from corporations seeking secure investment environments to indigenous peoples seeking self-determination.
  • To explore these challenges and the ways in which they have been met, or could be met, in polar regions in order to inform understanding and policy-making in other regions of the world where the divisions between land and water are similarly blurred.
For more information contact:

Phil Steinberg
Professor of Political Geography, Durham University
Director, IBRU: Durham University’s Centre for Borders Research