2020 Polar Law Symposium The Rule of Law in the Polar Regions

Special Online Session of
13th Polar Law Symposium

Logistically supported by Kobe PCRC

Message to All Polar Law Scholars

From the Convenor

Due to the worsening situation caused by COVID-19 pandemic in Japan and worldwide and after careful consultation with the Advisory Committee, with breaking hearts, I have decided to postpone the Kobe symposium to the fall of 2021, hosting it as the 14th Polar Law Symposium at Kobe University, Japan. Its dates have not yet been decided, but most likely it will be held around the same time of the year, namely November 2021.

With several abstracts already submitted and as a symbol of our solidarity to continue our academic activities despite the current difficulties caused by COVID-19, the 13th Polar Law Symposium will be held as a Special Online Session. This will be a simple online forum, protected by password to be issued to registered participants (there will be no registration fees), where the presenters will be able to upload their research results in PPT, video clips with audio, and other forms to be decided later. There will be no interactive online discussions during the Session, but the opportunities for the participants to send their comments and feedbacks by e-mails will be provided. This online session will be available for a period of three weeks in November 2020. Those who made the “presentations” at this Special Online Session will have the opportunity to submit their papers to the Yearbook of Polar Law, Volume 13, and publish their academic work if accepted through a regular peer-reviewing process.

Instead of travel support, a few fellowships (maximum 200,000 JPY/person) will be available for selected early-career/indigenous scholars to support the Planning Committee members to promote panel discussions leading up to the Online Session in November and/or after the Session in preparation for the papers to be submitted to the Yearbook of Polar Law (see below for expected work of fellows). When submitting the abstracts, please do not forget to enter additional information if you are early-career/indigenous scholars and seek such fellowships. The selected fellows will be contacted individually from the Planning Committee members in July or August.

Call for Abstracts for Special Online Session continues until 5 June 2020

For those interested to make presentations at the Special Online Session, please submit your abstracts exactly the same way as previously announced (see below for details). The deadline has been extended until 5 June 2020, but please be assured that this will be the last extension planned.

For those who have already submitted the abstracts, thank you! You have the complete freedom to choose one of the following options. Your choice must be materialized by your own action using the abstract submission portal: < https://amarys-jtb.jp/2020pls/>. Please understand that the Kobe PCRC and its team cannot take the necessary action on your behalf.

(1) Keep the abstracts in the system and make the online presentations at the Special Online Session in November. By default, this will be your choice if no action has been taken by 5 June 2020. You can revise and re-submit your abstracts as many times as you wish until 5 June.
(2) Keep the abstracts in the system and consider submitting them to the next 14th Polar Law Symposium in 2021. You can notify this intention when Kobe PCRC sends out around July a procedure to “participate” in the Special Online Session. Although you will not be able to delete or revise your abstracts after 5 June, your abstracts remain in the system, and the system will resume for the 14th Symposium around February 2021. You can then make your decision whether to revise, delete, or submit them for the 14th Symposium. You will be notified of those announcements by e-mails.
(3) Delete the abstracts completely. You can do this from the abstract submission portal easily but must be materialized by 5 June. In this case, you will not have the opportunity to make presentation during the Special Online Session, but you can still “participate” in the Session since your pre-registered ID remains in the system.
(4) Delete both the abstracts and the pre-registered IDs. You can delete your abstracts from the submission portal, but you cannot delete your ID by yourself. After deleting the abstracts, please send an e-mail to JTB < jtb_2020pls@jtb.com> to notify your wish to delete the ID. After deletion by JTB, you will not be able to “participate” in the Special Online Session. If you want to re-register for the 14th Symposium in 2021, you will need to register with a different ID.

Thank you.
24 April 2020

Call for abstracts extended !

Abstracts: Submission due is extended until 5 June 2020
Early-career/indigenous scholars fellowship requests: 5 June 2020

Please carefully read the call paper and model abstract format, by downloading it.

Please submit your abstracts/panel proposals through the dedicated submission portal: JTB website.

The Planning Committee encourages a focused discussion in each panel on a common theme with a distinctively bi-polar perspective. The Committee will also accept broad topics and methodologies under such common themes. When submitting an abstract, please choose a panel the objective of which best fits the theme of your abstract. You can find the description of each panel on the call paper downloadable from the link below.

Proposals for new panels are encouraged. In this case, the proposal should clearly indicate the title of the proposed panel, at least four (4) presentations within the panel with the titles and concise abstracts for each of them, as well as the names of the presenters (all in 700 words limit). The Planning Committee reserves its right to request further information and/or abstracts before making its decision.

From those accepted abstracts/panel proposals, Kobe PCRC will offer fellowships amounting to max. 200,000 JPY/person to selected early-career/indigenous scholars. For selection purposes, early-career/indigenous scholars seeking fellowships from Kobe PCRC are encouraged to submit a longer version nearing the maximum limit (700 words) so that they can provide the main argument of your proposed presentation.

Fellowships for the 2020 Polar Law Symposium for the above-mentioned scholars are available under the following criteria/conditions:
-Early-career scholars and researchers: all students and those researchers within 5 years past their PhD, and/or
-Indigenous polar experts and researchers and Indigenous knowledge holders of all backgrounds and career stages
 (such as ones represented by the Arctic Council Permanent Participants)

For both categories, active engagement, under the instruction of the Planning Committee members, in the panel discussions would be required by, for example, assisting the Planning Committee members to establish the panels, promoting the online discussions leading up to the Session in November, drafting reports of the panel discussions for publication, and/or preparing papers for submission to the Yearbook of Polar Law. Further instructions and conditions will be duly sent to the selected recipients.

For a panel proposal, only one lead presenter needs to “pre-register” and enter the details of the abstract. However, for fellowships, each individual presenter needs to provide supporting evidence for her/his status. So, in case of panel proposal with early-career/indigenous scholar(s) eligible for and seeking fellowships, in addition to the abstract submitted by the lead presenter, those early-career/indigenous scholar(s) must also “pre-register”, upload the same panel proposal, and provide the early-career/indigenous information directly onto the abstract submission portal.

Please use the model abstract format, by downloading it from here.

Please submit your abstracts/panel proposals through the dedicated submission portal: JTB website

Expected Registration Fees for Online Special Session: None

Important dates

9 November 2020 Special Online Session of 13th PLS open (until 30 November)
1 September 2020 Registration for special online session begins
Early August 2020 Acceptance notification on abstracts/fellowships
5 June 2020 Final deadline for abstracts/fellowship requests
24 April 2020 Decision: 13th Polar Law Symposium goes Online
24 April 2020 Kobe PCRC will host the 14th Polar Law Symposium in 2021
5 December 2019 Call for abstracts open
5 December 2019 2020 PLS Kobe website open

Hosts & Sponsors




Convenor of the Special Online Session of the 13th Polar Law Symposium:
Akiho Shibata, Director, Kobe PCRC

Advisory Committee:
Gudmundur Alfredsson (University of Akureyri, Iceland)
Timo Koivurova (University of Lapland, Finland)
Julia Jabour (University of Tasmania, Australia)

Planning Committee:
Akiho Shibata, Chair (Kobe PCRC)
Hiroyuki Enomoto (Arctic Environmental Research Center, National Institute of Polar Research, Japan)
Kentaro Nishimoto (School of Law, Tohoku University, Japan)
Yuko Osakada(Faculty of Law, Chukyo University, Japan)
Nikolas Sellheim (Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki, Finland)
Indi Hodgson-Johnston (Institute of Marine & Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia)
Zia Madani (Kobe PCRC from September 2020)
Osamu Inagaki (Researcher, Polar Cooperation Research Centre, Kobe University)

Wakako Masuda (Polaris Secretaries Office Co., Ltd.)


For inquiries regarding the symposium generally and for abstract submission,
please send an e-mail to:2020_pls_kobe@2020polarlawsymposium.org