Ol'ga Magomedova

Comparative Analysis of Arctic International Legal Policies of Canada and the United States

2023. No. 1. P. 226–250 [issue contents]
International legal positions of States on current issues of international agenda can be regarded as an outcome of international legal policies of these States at the moment. Existing divergencies are not accounted only for a present issues, since such positions are indicative of the character of their consistent international legal policies. Based on this assumption, the research paper reviews different positions of the United States and Canada on some Arctic issues from the perspective of a fundamental difference between the arctic international legal policies of the two States. Since the establishment of Canada’s governance over Northwest territories Canada considered their exploration strategically important, whereas United States took their northern possessions for normatively granted. The active arctic policy of Canada resulted in the sector theory, which got subsequently enshrined in law and met international acquiescence in 1925. All the while till 1960-s the United States took up positions on arctic matters in response to Canada’s steps. Once the United States arrived at their concrete economic interests in the region, the American international legal policy opted for challenging Canada’s positions, which follow from the international legal policy heretofore undoubted. With the use of the comparative method, historical, legalistic and system approaches the research paper provides analysis of the legal solutions of the States for promoting their positions on three exemplary issues, such as maritime boundary delimitation in the Beaufort Sea, legal status of the Northwest Passage and applicability of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea in the Arctic Ocean. The article explains how Canada manages to lead consistent international legal policy; demonstrates what mistakes a State might make without firm course of the international legal policy being guided by short-term interests. All considered the research paper concludes on the significance of State’s commitment to its assumed positions for solving new questions.
Citation: Magomedova O.S. (2023) Comparative Analysis of Arctic International Legal Policies of Canada and the United States. Law. Journal of the Higher School of Economics, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 226–250 (in Russ.). DOI:10.17323/2072-816.2023.1.226.250.
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