The programme provides a unique focus on polar law. It comes about in a timely fashion, when climate changes are having a dramatic effect on the Arctic and Antarctic, when the opening of the new shipping routes is becoming probable, when current and potential boundary disputes on land and sea remain unresolved, when issues and questions of national and local governance are moving forward on national and international agendas, and, last but not least, when multiple threats to the environment are sending serious danger-signals and calling for urgent measures. One of the interesting areas of study to which this program can contribute concerns possible lessons that the legal regime for Antarctica could provide for solutions in the Arctic.
In the programme, emphasis is placed on areas of international and domestic law concerning the Polar regions. Issues of environmental law and biodiversity, human rights law, the law of the sea, the law of sustainable development and resources are addressed, including questions of sovereignty and boundary disputes on land and sea, the rights of indigenous peoples in the North, self-government and good governance, and land and resource claims in the Polar regions.