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The Arctic Exception and the IMO’s PSSA Mechanism: Assessing their Value as Sources of Protection for the Northwest Passage

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AbstractFor more than half a century, Canada has affirmed that all of the waters within its Arctic archipelago, including the Northwest Passage, are Canadian historic internal waters over which it exercises sovereign control. Canada’s detractors have qualified the Canadian position as excessive, arguing that the Northwest Passage is an international strait and that international legal regimes guarantee the preservation of the Arctic waterway. It is this contention, that international legal tools exist—specifically Article 234 of the LOSC and the IMO’s PSSA mechanism—and that they would adequately protect the Northwest Passage even if it came to be recognized as an international strait, which is the subject of investigation.

Affiliations: 1: Faculté de Droit, Université de MontréalMontréalCanada


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