Cancelled The Arctic, Climate Change, and International Law

Course content

This course aims to examine the key legal issues regarding the Arctic ocean governance in international law, with specific focus on the implications of climate change in the oceans.
In so doing, this course provides Bachelor students with an introduction to the Polar Law as well as the Law of the Sea. At the same time, this course also seeks to consider the issues of sustainable development by examining the legal framworks for the exploitation of marine natural resources in the marine Arctic and the protection of the Arctic environment.


Principal issues will include:

  • Paradgims of the Arctic ocean governance.
  • Impacts of climate change on baselines in the Arctic.
  • Limits of continental shelf in the marine Arctic.
  • Arctic shipping and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.
  • Impacts of climate change in the sustainable use of marine living resources in the marine Arctic.
  • Implications of climate change for the sustainable use of marine biological diversity in the Arctic.
  • Environmental protection of the Arctic and climate change.
  • The Arctic maritime security.
  • The sustainable use of non-living resources in the Arctic.
  • Scientific resesarch in the Arctic.
  • Peaceful settlement of international disputes regardign Arctic issues.
  • A perspective on the Arctic ocean governance.
Learning outcome


On successful completion of the course, students will be able to demonstrate specialised academic knowledge with regard to the Arctic ocean governance and impacts of climate change on the oceans.
The students will also be able to have an understanding with respect to the international legal framework for the regulation of activities in the Arctic, including the sustainale use of marine natural resources in the Arctic. 



The students will be able to critically analyse legal issues with regard to the Polar (Arctic) Law, the law of the sea, and the international climate change law. 



The students will be able to identify a relevant approach to address the Arctic issues. Through this course, the students will be able to explore how it is possible to reconcile legal competing interests regarding international affairs surrounding the Arctic.   

The teaching method is an inter-active lecture, including small group discussions. In particular, relevant cases relating to marine and environmental disputes will be discussed in the class. The case-study will be useful for students to learn the problem-solving thinking.

M.Durfee and R.L. Johnstone, Arctic Governance in a Changing World (Rowman and Littlefield, 2019), 334pp (main textbook).

In addition, within the page limit indicated above, relevant research articles will be suggested from Y. Tanaka and B.M. Romera (eds), Emerging Issues on Arctic Environmental and Climate Change Governance, (2020) 35 International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, pp. 429 et seq.  

This course will be taught in English.

The Arctic is of particular importance to Denmark. Furthermore, the Arctic ocean governance provides an insight into sustainable development of marine resources.
In this course, we will consider the interaction between climate change, sustainable development, and environmental protection of the Arctic.

Continuous feedback during the course
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
Individual written assignment.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 171,25
  • Seminar
  • 35
  • English
  • 206,25


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Bachelor choice

1 semester

  1. Students enrolled at Faculty of Law: No tuition fee
  2. Professionals: Please visit our website  
Please see timetable for teaching time
Contracting department
  • Law
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator
  • Yoshifumi Tanaka   (16-857b7f7475728179753a806d7a6d776d4c76817e3a77813a7077)
Saved on the 15-06-2022

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