The sovereignty of Antarctica

The sovereignty of this uninhabited area has generated much controversy.

Territorial claims ranging from States which have no border with Antarctica, (such as the claim of the nazi Germany of the new Suabia region) to States which, throughout its history, never contributed to its discovery (Uruguay, Colombia, Brazil) through the frontage theory.

However, the reality is that Antarctica is not currently subject to the sovereignty of any State.

We can find the legal regulation of Antarctica by the Antarctic Treaty, which enshrines the prohibition of military use and installation of bases of military character throughout the Antarctic Territory. However, it gives free will for the use of the territory for scientific purposes.

antWith this Treaty, the world forgets the danger of an armed conflict of an international character, thanks to the signature of the signatories who made claims to this territory. However, the Treaty stipulates that this does not imply a waiver of the territorial claim, simply maintains the status quo of the claims prior to the Treaty. After signing the contract, no other country can claim more territory, or modify the boundaries of the claimed territory.

This Treaty was signed in 1959, originally by 7 countries, which are United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Norway, Australia, Argentina and Chile. It corresponds to the States with territorial claims on Antarctica and advisory members. Subsequently more Member States have been added to the Treaty, while enjoying fewer rights than the claimant’s territories. Spain joined this Treaty in 1982, enjoying the status of advisory member without territorial claim.

Spain currently has two bases of scientific research on this territory, whose names are Antarctic Base Juan Carlos I, and Antarctic Base Gabriel de Castilla. This team of scientists has the support of the Hesperides oceanographic research vessel.

Source| The antarctic treaty

Picture| nextnavy

Author Spotlight

Dueñas Gomez


Law and Political Science degree in San Pablo-CEU (Madrid).

Currently studying International Bussines and Law in Saxion University (The Netherlands) Read Full

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