13th Polar Law Symposium

Special Online Session 9-30 November 2020


Logistically supported by Kobe University Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC)

As a sign of our solidarity in these difficult times caused by COVID-19, the polar law scholars have come together once again in 2020 to examine, in detail, the implications of the challenges faced by the Polar Regions for international law and policy and to make recommendations on appropriate actions to respond to these emerging and re-emerging challenges. For the 13-year history of Polar Law Symposium, visit this page.

Please watch a video message from Professor Akiho Shibata, the Convenor of the 13th Polar Law Symposium, at the occasion of the Symposium opening.


All the activities of 13th Polar Law Symposium will take place via a dedicated webpage. To view this webpage, you will need to Register here  Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email. Your login details for the webpage will be sent to you via email immediately after registering. For any inquiry, please contact PLS Secretariat: 2020_pls_kobe [at]

Registration is free and open to everybody interested in polar law and policy.

Presenters (updated 5 October): The presenters with accepted abstracts who have indicated their intention to make presentations at 13th Polar Law Symposium are not required to register again. By now, you should have received an e-mail from the PLS Secretariat with your username and password, with which you can access the website and upload your presentation file(s). You will have the opportunity to make a presentation during the period of 9-30 November by uploading your PPT slides and/or 15-minute MP4 video.
You will be able to upload your presentation file(s) starting from October 12 (Monday). Please upload your presentation file(s) by October 26 (Monday) so that your presentation will be viewable on the website from the start of the Symposium on 9 November. The presentation file(s) uploaded after this date may take up to 10 working days to be reflected on the website.
You can upload your presentation file(s) only once. If you have both PPT and MP4 files, you must upload them at the same time. After uploading, there will be no opportunity later for revision, replacement or deletion. The presentation file must be submitted in PPT format, and, on the website, it will be shown as a non-downloadable slideshow. A 15-minute video in MP4 format can also be submitted, and, on the website, it will be linked to a YouTube limited access URL. For other instructions, please refer to the e-mail, or contact the PLS Secretariat.

All Participants (updated 5 October) : Access to the webpage and presentation uploading is via your browser and there is no extra software to download. To view the ZOOM interactive seminars and lectures, it is recommended that you download ZOOM application. To participate in ZOOM meetings, you will first need to pre-register (please note there are several interactive seminars with maximum number of participants, in principle, on first-come-first serve basis), receive an email with ZOOM URL link, and then access the seminars/lectures with ZOOM application. It is the responsibility of the participants to establish a technical environment suitable for accessing ZOOM meetings and webinars. The pre-registration for all live interactive events will start at 9:00 am Japan Standard Time (JST) on 1 November 2020, and will continue until five (5) days before the event.


At the start of the first virtual Polar Law Symposium on 9 November, there are twenty-five (25) on-demand slideshow and/or video viewing individual presentations now “viewable” from the Symposium website. In addition, there are thirteen (13) live events planned during the symposium with more than twenty-eight (28) live, oral presentations. All registered participants can participate in those live events by pre-registering to those individual events five (5) days prior to the scheduled date through the Symposium website.

On 26 November, there will be an open live lecture on: ‘Plastic Arctic’ – How does law deal with the emerging threat of Arctic plastic pollution? by Dr. Seita Romppanen (University of Eastern Finland).

The 11th Symposium on Polar Science hosted by the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) will be held with an Online Meeting System.    


The convenor of 13 PLS would encourage you to have your presentation(s) published as a fully-reviewed paper in The Yearbook of Polar Law Vol. 13. To enable the smooth and timely preparation of the Yearbook, please observe the following instructions. More details will be available from the Special Editor.

  • (1) Prepare a Word document of no more than 8,000 words (including footnotes)
  • (2) Authors should write in English only
  • (3) Use the Chicago Footnotes style. Do not use Endnotes
  • (4) The deadline for submission for papers is 1 February 2021.
  • (5) All inquires regarding the Yearbook and the submission should be addressed to the Special Editor: Christine Van Der Horst. Her contact details have been despatched through a separate email to all presenters.

Announcement from Brill Publisher on the 12th Volume of Yearbook of Polar Law and its Polar Law Series.


This year’s Polar Law Symposium is co-organised by the Polar Law Institute (University of Akureyri), the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre (University of Lapland), and the Polar Cooperation Research Centre (Kobe University). The co-organisers express their appreciation to generous support from the following 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)
Mami Furuhata (Kobe PCRC)
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 2021)
Osamu Inagaki (Kobe PCRC)

Wakako Masuda (Kobe PCRC Secretariat)
            2020_pls_kobe [at]