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Current and Prospective Roles of the Arctic Council System within the Context of the Law of the Sea

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AbstractThis article examines the current and prospective roles of the Arctic Council System (ACS) within the context of the (international) law of the sea. Its first part focuses on the role of regional cooperation under the law of sea, with special attention to the way in which the pacta tertiis principle has shaped some regional regimes. The second part examines current features of the Arctic Council, including its mandate and main approaches, participation and institutional structure. The new concept of the ACS is offered to clarify the connection between the Arctic Council and the 2011 Agreement on Cooperation in Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic and future legally binding instruments negotiated under the Council’s auspices, but not adopted by it. The article concludes with a synthesis of the current and prospective roles of the ACS under the law of the sea.

Affiliations: 1: Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS), Utrecht University Utrecht The Netherlands University of Tromsø Tromsø Norway, URL:


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