Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Library of Parliament Publication on Canada's Arctic Claims

The Parliamentary Information and Research Service of the Library of Parliament has just posted a new publication on its website. It is entitled Controversial Canadian Claims over Arctic Waters and Maritime Zones:

"Canada asserts several claims over Arctic lands and waters. By and large, Canada’s claims and assertions are regarded as well-founded by other states. Canada can thus benefit from recognition of title and jurisdiction in relation to those claims. However, for some claims, other states have expressed opposition to Canada’s claims (...)"

"This paper focuses ... on controversial claims over Arctic waters that affect Canadian interests. Three controversies are examined, two of them ongoing and the last one potential: the status of the Northwest Passage; the maritime delimitation in the Beaufort Sea; and the extent to which claims over an extended continental shelf by the various Arctic states may generate future controversies."
Other recent Library of Parliament publications on issues of Arctic sovereignty include:
  • Canadian Arctic Sovereignty (26 January 2006): "The Arctic region has featured prominently in debates about Canadian sovereignty. There has been a renewed focus on the Arctic due to the effects of climate change in the region, notably the melting of the polar ice caps. At the same time, there are continuing strategic issues relating to potential incursions into Canadian Arctic territory at various levels – airspace, surface (terrestrial and maritime), and sub-surface (by nuclear submarines). Canada’s ability to detect and monitor such territorial incursions and to enforce sovereign claims over its Arctic territory in such cases has been questioned."
  • Canada's Legal Claims Over Arctic Territory and Waters (6 December, 2007): "The international legal principles and the type of power that states can claim in relation to land and waters differ. While states may claim sovereignty over land, generally their powers over adjacent waters and sea beds are described in terms of possession of rights and jurisdiction. Bordering waters are classified according to the law of the sea, with the extent of rights and jurisdiction of the coastal state varying according to the type of maritime zone involved. Consequently, this paper will deal first with legal principles and claims dealing with the territorial dimension of the Canadian Arctic – i.e., the mass of islands north of Canada’s landmass – before turning to the Arctic waters as such."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:18 pm


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