Symposium on Arctic Governance

arctic image

January 30-31, 2015
University of California, Irvine School of Law

This symposium will contribute to the discussion about what is needed for maintaining or improving governance, primarily environmental but not exclusively, in the Arctic region. There has been an immense amount written and said about Arctic governance in the last several years and one major theme revolves around the question of whether new law is needed in the region. This is at least an underlying theme of the symposium within the context of more specifically focused presentations including a focus on how to implement and make effective existing initiatives in law and policy and how to assure that the laws and policies on the ground reflect those adopted.

The expert papers to be discussed during the event will be published in the UC Irvine Law Review as a symposium issue. In the spirit of building relations and possible future work together, we have programmed ample time for informal interactions into the program. Abstracts available here (PDF).

The Newkirk Center for Science and Society’s “Community-based Science in the Arctic” is a complementary satellite program and participants at both programs will be sharing ideas throughout the two days. Talks will be attended by academics from the Southern California region, graduate students in law and related disciplines, consulate personnel and their invitees from nations with Arctic roles, and local officials.

We thank our co-sponsors and partners:

  • UC Irvine School of Law Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources
  • UC Irvine Center in Law, Society, and Culture
  • UC Irvine Center for Unconventional Security Affairs
  • Newkirk Center for Science and Society
  • UC Irvine Oceans Initiative
  • UC Berkeley Law School Law of the Sea Institute
  • Fulbright Canada
  • Consulate General of Canada, Los Angeles
  • Consulate General of Finland, Los Angeles
  • Norwegian Consulate General, San Francisco
  • Consulate General of Sweden, San Francisco

Luncheon Speaker

Brian Israel, Office of the Legal Adviser for Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, United States Department of State

  • Mr. Israel’s Jan. 30 lunchtime presentation on “Governing a Changing Arctic: Law, Policy, and the Upcoming U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council” is sponsored by the Canadian Consulate and open to the public, but RSVP is required.


Betsy Baker
Vermont Law School/University of Washington School of Law, USA

Michael Byers
University of British Columbia, CANADA

Joseph DiMento
UC Irvine School of Law, USA

Tore Henriksen
UIT, The Arctic University of Norway, NORWAY

Brian Israel
United States Department of State, USA

Timo Koivurova
NIEM/Arctic Centre, FINLAND

Tullio Scovazzi
Università degli Studi Milano-Bicocca, ITALY

Oran Young
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, UC Santa Barbara, USA


Jordan Diamond
UC Berkeley School of Law, USA

Raphael Heffron
University of Leeds, UK

Robert E. Lutz
Southwestern School of Law, USA

Kathryn J. Mengerink
Environmental Law Institute, USA

Michael Robinson-Dorn
UC Irvine School of Law, USA

Jessica M. Shadian
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, DENMARK


Friday, January 30, 2015

EDU Building, Room 1111 — UC Irvine School of Law

9:00 a.m. Coffee and continental breakfast

9:15–10:00 a.m. Welcome with Joseph DiMento and Anne Conley, Administrative Chair of UCI Law Review, followed by Session 1 with Joseph DiMento

Commentators: Robert Lutz and Kathryn Mengerink

10–10:30 a.m. Coffee break

10:30–11:15 a.m. Session 2 with Michael Byers

Commentators: Raphael Heffron and Michael Robinson-Dorn

12 noon. Lunch and Lecture at UCI University Club sponsored by the Canadian consulate. “Governing a Changing Arctic: Law, Policy, and the Upcoming U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council,” by Brian Israel, Office of the Legal Adviser for Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, United States Department of State

2:00–2:45 p.m. Session 3 with Tore Henriksen

Commentators: Jordan Diamond and Raphael Heffron

2:45–3:30 p.m. Session 4 with Timo Koivurova

Commentators: Jessica Shadian and Jordan Diamond

3:30–3:45 p.m. Coffee break

3:45–4:30 p.m. Hello and Welcome by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Irvine School of Law, followed by Session 5 with Tullio Scovazzi

Commentators: Kathryn Mengerink and Raphael Heffron

4:30–5:15 p.m. Session 6 with Betsy Baker

Commentators: Jessica Shadian and Kathryn Mengerink [Jordan Diamond and Michael Robinson-Dorn]

Dinner (participants)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

EDU Building, Room 1131 — UC Irvine School of Law

9:30 a.m. Coffee and continental breakfast

9:45–10:30 a.m. Session 7 with Brian Israel

Commentators: Robert Lutz and Michael Robinson-Dorn

10:30–11 a.m. Coffee break

11–11:45 a.m. Session 8 with Oran Young

Commentators: Jordan Diamond and Jessica Shadian

12:00–1:30 p.m. Box Lunch
Sponsored by Fulbright Canada

Panel: Community-based Science in the Arctic
Sponsored by The Newkirk Center for Science and Society and the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs at UC Irvine

1:30-2:00 p.m. Elizabeth Mendenhall, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University, U.S.A.
Social Understandings of the Arctic Domain

2:00-2:30 p.m. May-Britt Öhman, Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University, Sweden
Supradisciplinary conversations on security, safety and resilience in the river valleys of Sábme – land of the Sámi     

2:30-3:00 p.m. Arn Keeling, Department of Geography, Memorial University, Canada   
(via Skype)
Aboriginal Communities and the Environmental Legacies of Extractive Development in the Arctic

3:00-3:15 p.m. Question and answer

3:15-3:30 p.m. Coffee break

3:30-4:00 p.m. Mark Vardy, Department of Sociology , Queen's University, Canada  
Constructing the “stakeholder” in Arctic science-for-policy

4:00–4:30 p.m. Peter Sköld, Arctic Research Centre, Umeå University, Sweden  
Salience, Stakeholders and Sustainabilities – Perspectives from Arctic Research in Sweden

4:30–5:00 p.m. Question and answer