Hans Island as seen from the air, with Ellesmere Island in the background.

Hans Island as seen from the air, with Ellesmere Island in the background.

Hans Island as seen from the air, with Ellesmere Island in the background.

Desolate Dispute: A Study of a Hypothetical International Court of Justice (ICJ) Decision

by Ryan Kristiansen

Captain Ryan Kristiansen, MSc., is a British Army Combined Cadet Force officer and a hydrographical surveyor working in the North Sea. This article is an edited version of his Master’s dissertation.

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Map showing Hans Island in relation to Greenland and Ellesmere Island.

Canadian Geographic 2005, re-drawn by 17 Wing Publishing Office Winnipeg

Map showing Hans Island in relation to Greenland and Ellesmere Island.


Hans Island (Danish, Hans ) is a small, uninhabited island of approximately 1.3 square kilometres. It is located in the middle of the Kennedy Channel of the Nares Strait, between Greenland and Ellesmere Island.

For many years, the ownership of Hans Island was not actively contested. However, Canada and Denmark each had the understanding that it was their possession. Its remote position did not attract much attention in Ottawa or Copenhagen. Since the early-1970s, following Canada’s and Denmark’s determination of the geographic coordinates of Hans Island, the question of which nation the island belongs to has remained unanswered.1 While the 1973 maritime boundary commission between Canada and Denmark was able to delimitate the continental shelf between Greenland and the Canadian arctic islands, it left 875 metres of the boundary, with Hans Island lying in the middle, undefined, and the question of sovereignty unanswered.

A Canadian petroleum company (Dome Petroleum) began exploring the area in the early-1980s, and it is the area’s economic potential, in the form of hydrocarbon deposits, shipping, and fishing that seems to have perpetuated this friendly disagreement between two otherwise very close allies.2

While Inuit have lived in the areas now known as Ellesmere Island and Greenland since 900 AD, any claim that the Inuit may have had of sovereignty over Hans Island was lost during the colonization process. British and Danish law view that any sovereignty the natives held over the island was bequeathed to the respective monarch, either by the act of colonization or through the treaty process.3

By September 1522, the southern route around South America had been discovered, due to Magellan’s circumnavigation, and the isthmus of Central America had already been identified by Vasco Balboa in 1513. Therefore, the search now began for a northern route around America. While the Portuguese and the Spanish focused their efforts on finding a Northwest Passage by scouring the North Pacific, the English, led by Martin Frobisher’s expedition of 1576, and subsequently followed by John Davis, explored the waterways north of Labrador and west of Greenland.4

The statue of Vasco Nunez de Balboa in Panama City.

Ocean/Corbis 42-27692439

The statue of Vasco Nunez de Balboa in Panama City.

The Viking Eric the Red sailed to Greenland in 986 AD and founded a colony. This colony lasted several hundred years, but appears to have been abandoned by 1360.5 Danish kings sent several expeditions to search for the lost Norse settlements in the 16th Century - but modern Danish colonization is generally considered to have begun in Greenland in 1721, when a mission and trading station were established in Godthb by Hans Egede. Following this, a military governor was appointed for a short time until administration of the territory was given to companies in exchange for monopolies on trade in Greenland.6 Apart from changes to the degree of autonomy granted to Greenlanders in the 20th Century, Denmark has retained complete sovereignty over Greenland. Due to the explorations of the American Robert Peary in the late 19th Century, the United States of America did lay claim to areas of Northern Greenland, though these claims were relinquished when Denmark ceded the Danish Virgin Islands to the United States.7 Norway, which became an independent nation in 1905 following centuries of first Danish, and then Swedish rule, claimed that north-eastern Greenland was terra nullis, and that in light of centuries of Norwegian commercial trade with this area, the sovereignty over this portion of Greenland ought to belong to Norway. This view was not upheld by the Permanent Court of International Justice in 1933.8 Since this time, the sovereignty over Greenland proper has not been questioned.

Vikings in discovery mode.

Stefano Blanchetti/Corbis 42-23635630

Vikings in discovery mode.

Hans Island itself is named after a Greenlander, Hans Hendrik, who worked as a hunter and assistant on several expeditions along the northwest coast of Greenland in the 1800s. It remains unclear exactly how early it was named after Hans Hendrik, but the first map that shows the island’s position and name is from the American Charles Francis Hall’s North Polar Expedition of 1871-1873 aboard the USS Polaris.9

The first Danish maps of northern Greenland to include Hans Island were produced following the 2nd Thule Expedition of 1916-1918 and the Bicentenary Jubilee Expedition of 1920-1923. These were printed in Meddelelelser om Grnland.10

The maps are significant, because they are the first printed by either Canada or Denmark, the previous maps having come either from earlier American or British expeditions to the area. Hans Island is clearly shown as belonging geologically to the Silurian formations found in Washington Land on Greenland, and distinct from the Innuitian orogeny formations on Ellesmere Island.

A period map of Cape Constitution shows clearly that Hans Island is coloured to represent it as a part of Greenland, demonstrating the Danish contention.

Across the Nares Channel from Greenland, Ellesmere Island was first sighted by William Baffin, an Englishman, while on an expedition with the Muscovy Company of London in 1616.11 More serious explorations of the area did not occur until the mid-19th Century, again by Englishmen. The British Arctic Expedition of 1875-1876, led by Sir George Strong Nares, was sent by the British Admiralty to attempt to reach the North Pole via Smith Sound. On this expedition, Nares became the first explorer to take his ships all the way north through the channel between Greenland and Ellesmere Island (now named Nares Strait in his honour) to the Lincoln Sea.12 The British claims to the area rest on these explorations, as well as the earlier attempt to find the Northwest Passage by Martin Frobisher and the lands granted to the Hudson’s Bay Company. In July 1880, Queen Victoria approved an Order-in-Council stating: “All British Territories and Possessions in North America, not already included within the Dominion of Canada, and all Islands adjacent to any of such Territories or Possessions, shall (with the exception of the Colony of Newfoundland and its dependencies) become and be annexed to and form part of the said Dominion of Canada.”13 This order in council, along with the previous British expeditions and the continued occupation of the area since, is the basis for Canada’s claim of sovereignty over Hans Island today.

Interestingly, Hans Island is not shown on the Canadian national map sheet at all.14 The area where Hans Island is situated is covered by the legend of Canadian Geological Survey map 1359A.

Canada and Denmark entered into an agreement to begin negotiating the delimitation of the continental shelf boundary between Greenland and Baffin and Ellesmere Islands in 1973, and the treaty came into force in 1974.15 As noted by A. Rubin, when the parties were negotiating the shelf boundary they ran into the problem of Hans Island straddling the boundary, based on baselines and equidistance.16 They were unable to solve the problem, and thus, for the area around Hans Island they created two series of points, A and B between which the Points 122 and 123 were left unconnected. Hans Island sits between these two points.

Both Canada and Denmark agreed in the 1973 treaty to refrain from issuing licences for the exploitation of minerals, but that did not prevent Dome Petroleum from carrying out research on the island in 1981 and 1983. The Danish government responded to this research visit by carrying out a series of expeditions and flag planting ceremonies on the island in 1984, with further visits in 1988, 1995, 2002, and 2003.

The Nootka Crisis

While the eastern and southern boundaries of Canada had been essentially fixed by the late 18th Century, the Pacific coast of North America remained terra nullis. In 1790, Britain and Spain nearly went to war over a territorial dispute at Nootka Sound, in modern day British Columbia. Due to its protected natural harbour, Nootka Sound had become, not only a refuge for European fisherman and whalers plying the north-western Pacific, but also a centre of trade between Europeans and the native tribes. Word had been received during a 1788 Spanish expedition to Russian Alaska that the Russians intended to occupy Nootka Sound. In an effort to pre-empt the Russians, in 1789, the Spanish sent an occupation party north to reconnoitre the Sound and give the impression of an occupying force to any foreign ships that would arrive.17 

The Spanish entered the Sound on 12 May 1789, under Esteban Jose Martinez. The Ifigenia Nubiana, owned by Englishman John Meares - but flying a Portuguese flag and consisting of English officers and crew - was already at anchor there.

On the 8th of June, the North West America, another ship owned by John Meares, arrived and was seized by Martinez. On the 15th of June, the Princess Royal, under Thomas Hudson arrived and was also seized. During this time, Hudson witnessed the Spanish conduct a ceremony designed to take possession of the Sound in the name of the Spanish king.

John Meares returned to England in the spring of 1790, and informed the government of the seizures. Angered by the incident, Prime Minister William Pitt threatened to go to war with Spain. The Royal Navy made preparations, while at the same time, feelers were sent out to gauge the response of England’s allies. The Dutch and the Germans agreed to assist England. Due to the French Revolution, France, a Spanish ally, was unable to come to her aid, nor were Austria or Russia.18 Spain quickly realized the precariousness of her situation, so both parties agreed to meet to settle the issue.

The Right Honourable William Pitt.

Library and Archives Canada C-010539

The Right Honourable William Pitt.

The main argument put forward by the British during the negotiations with the Spanish was the lack of a permanent settlement on the Northwest coast. This, in British eyes, was viewed as an incomplete occupation of the area, and insufficient to justify claiming sovereignty over it. The Spanish claims of possession were based upon the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1493, and upon a doctrine which claimed sovereignty was gained by discovery and formal acts of taking possession.19 Historian John Norris claims that this was not a new policy formulated by the British, as claims of occupation in conjunction with sovereignty had been put forward on these grounds before, but the beginning of an era of consistently applying the concept that sovereignty equates to the occupation or use of a territory.20

The Island of Palmas Case

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) was preceded by another judicial body, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), which was formed following the First Hague Conference of 1899. This court is the world’s oldest institution for the settling of international disputes.21 One of the most important cases resolved by the PCA that relates to island territorial disputes was the Island of Palmas Case between the United States of America and The Netherlands.

Palmas is a small island located 48 miles southeast of Mindanao, having a population of about 750 at the time of the case. Further southeast are the Meangis Islands in Indonesia, which at the time was known as The Netherlands East Indies.22 The US based its ownership of the island as the successor to the Spanish, which had ceded the Philippines to the US in the Treaty of Paris of 1898. Palmas is within the boundaries of Article III of the treaty that outlined the territories that were ceded to the United States.23 In 1906, the commander of the Philippine Department of Moro visited Palmas Island during an inspection of the areas under his command.24 Upon his arrival, he discovered that a Dutch flag was flying above the island.

Both nations questioned the title that the other claimed to the island, and thus, both the USA and The Netherlands agreed to submit to binding arbitration by the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The US argued that Spain had obtained an original title by discovery, and furthermore, that formerly title based on discovery was of 'unquestioned validity.' While this view was accepted by The Netherlands, their Counsel went on to state that no principles of international law can be considered to have existed in the distant past. Furthermore, he also stressed that title to a territory cannot be seen as occurring at one discrete moment in time, and that changing concepts of law had to be taken into consideration.25

The Americans also suggested that although there was little evidence of actual Spanish exercise of sovereignty over the Palmas Island, it was proper to take into account the geographical nature of the island namely, that it was part of the Philippine archipelago. Spain's title over the archipelago was clear, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it should be assumed that Spain's occupation and control of Mindanao and other islands included Palmas.26 To support this claim, the Americans made reference to the North American and Australian continents where well into the 19th Century there were few European settlers in vast areas of the territory. This paucity of occupation did not mean, however, that the territories that were unoccupied were open to settlement by other nations. Additionally, as it was admitted that they could not show Spanish occupation and control over every inch of the Philippines archipelago it was unnecessary to demonstrate occupation and control over Palmas itself.

The Dutch claim was also based on original discovery. However, the Dutch went further by arguing for possession under prescriptive title. The prescriptive title argument rested on the premise that by occupying Palmas openly and notoriously and having effective jurisdiction on the island over such a long time, the Dutch had gained title to the island, even if it had been originally discovered by the Spaniards and claimed by the Spanish.27

In his conclusions, the arbitrator first stated that the Treaty of Paris, while it included the Island within its limits of cession, did not vest upon the United States any rights not already vested in Spain. He then turned to evidence of whether Spain had any sovereignty over the islands prior to the Treaty of Paris.28 By way of reviewing the evidence submitted by both parties, the arbitrator reached the conclusion that The Netherlands’ claim to the island should be upheld. There were questions concerning whether or not Spain’s rights to the island had been extinguished by the Treaty of Utrecht or the Treaty of Mnster, but in the end, it was the long, continual exercise of sovereignty by The Netherlands that had never previously been challenged by Spain or a third party that weighed most heavily in The Netherlands’ favour.29

Relief sculpture of Benjamin Franklin signing the Treaty of Paris.

Kevin Fleming/Corbis KF004668

Relief sculpture of Benjamin Franklin signing the Treaty of Paris.

Application to Hans Island

What would be the likely outcome of an ICJ ruling if Canada and Denmark were to turn to the ICJ to determine which nation has sovereignty over Hans Island? A treaty can be seen as a form of contract law, and is thus a useful and well understood principle for the court to base its decision upon. In the case at hand, no extant or historic treaty between Canada or Denmark exists which details the boundary, save for the 1973 Delimitation Treaty, which explicitly leaves the boundary between Points 122 and 123, which lie on either side of Hans Island, undecided as a result of Canada and Denmark’s inability to agree upon to which nation the island belonged. As such, it cannot be argued that the island was given to one party or another, and is of no use to the ICJ in determining ownership of the island. The 1880 Order-in-Council, which transferred the Arctic territories from British control to the Dominion of Canada, did not delimitate the boundary of the territories to be transferred, and therefore, does not explicitly include Hans Island in the transfer. Similarly, neither the United States’ claim over northern Greenland following Robert Peary’s explorations, nor the Danish Virgin Islands Treaty of 1916, included a reference to the island or the geographical extent of the claim that was being ceded. Had any of these treaties or the Order-in-Council mentioned the island, it would add significant weight to that party’s argument of ownership.

Geography is an argument that many can understand, especially where the proposed natural feature is a river boundary or valley that forms a natural boundary between nations. The island lies in the middle of the Kennedy Channel, and straddles the delimited continental shelf boundary. It does not appear obviously to belong to Canada or Denmark. However, geological studies conducted by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland do suggest that the island is geologically more in common with Washington Land in Greenland than with Ellesmere Island. This argument would appear to support the Danish case.

Additionally, the principles of effective control and history apply aptly in the case of both Canada’s and Denmark’s claim for Hans Island. In all likelihood, this would be an argument put forward primarily on the basis of effective control - due to Denmark’s mapping, geological research, and military visits - and a secondary argument of historical claim to the island. The Danish historical claim is as strong as Canada’s, and thus would be used to boost the primary argument of effective control.

Queen Victoria.

Library and Archives Canada C-008133

Queen Victoria.

As there has never been a history of settlement on the island, effective control would be demonstrated by other acts which would validate each nation’s sovereignty over Hans Island. Canada would certainly base its claim on the voyages of the English explorers, and Queen Victoria’s Order-in-Council of 1880. Countering this claim, Denmark would put forward the initial discovery of Greenland by the Vikings, which was followed up in the 1720s by a permanent colonization and dominion over Greenland. Like the Island of Palmas case, original discovery is backed by the argument that it is not necessary to occupy every part of a territory to demonstrate that you continue to claim the territory, and the Danish administration in this region of the world was in place much earlier than that of the British.

Had Canada claimed Hans Island earlier in the 20th Century, she could have made an effective counter-argument that, similar to the Nootka Crisis, discovery does not equate to sovereignty over territory in the absence of effective control over the said territory. However, as illustrated previously in this article, the Danish published a geological map showing Hans Island as geologically connected to the Danish mainland as early as 1922. Though this action may seem somewhat insignificant, as international law specialists Georg Schwarzenberger argues in Title to Territory, in the case of an uninhabited island an initial display of sovereignty may suffice to maintain that title unless subsequent evidence of an intent to abandon the jurisdiction is forthcoming.30

Furthermore, the planting of a Danish flag on the island, reminiscent of Martinez at Nootka Sound, was a clear declaration of Danish sovereignty over the island. Canada subsequently followed suit with its own flag planting ceremony, but in a case of this type, it would have to be argued that the Danish claim has been the most persistent and is backed by the actions of a state which considers itself to have not only sovereignty over a territory, but can additionally point clearly to first discovery (the Vikings) and a subsequent re-establishment of control over the territory in the 18th Century.

The crew of the Danish warship Vedderen perform a flag-raising ceremony on the uninhabited Hans Island, 13 August 2002.

AP photo/Polfoto,Vedderen file 050919012612

The crew of the Danish warship Vedderen perform a flag-raising ceremony on the uninhabited Hans Island, 13 August 2002.

Canada’s explicit claim on Hans Island came quite late in the 20th Century, long after the Danes had already mapped the island and shown it to be an integral part of the territory of Greenland. As Peter Dawes notes in his paper, the fact that current Canadian Geological Survey mapping for the area continues to omit the island certainly does not bolster the nation’s claim over Hans Island.31

In the case of territories where the ownership is in dispute, the systematic mapping, and the geological exploration and classification of territories must be seen as a declaration of interest and a general exercise of sovereignty. The visiting of territory by military vessels, the ultimate demonstration of a sovereign power, can only be viewed as effective control by the ICJ. The fact that Canada has attempted to demonstrate its sovereignty over Hans Island by mounting military expeditions there of its own, although demonstrating a genuine interest in the island, came after the Danish military had already visited the island and they have been mounted less frequently and with considerably more difficulty than the Danes have managed to accomplish. Canada has committed to building new ships capable of extended deployments to the region,32 but the Danes already have the capability to do so, and they carry out extended naval deployments in the region, have regular aerial surveillance in place, and have a standing military patrol in Greenland, Sldepatruljen Sirius.33 President of the International Court of Justice Basdevants’ observations from the Miquiers and Ecrehos case favour Denmark, as the Danish exercise effective military control in the vicinity of Hans Island, not the Canadians.34

As Schwarzenberger notes in Title to Territory, a gradual consolidation process takes place before territorial title becomes secure. In the beginning, every title is relative, and it is through a series of events or actions that title becomes secure. In the case of Hans Island, both Canada and Denmark have carried out activities and made claims that, viewed independently, would be good grounds to securing title, but when viewed together, the collective actions of one can be said to have built a more secure foundation, and in this case the ICJ would almost certainly rule that Denmark has and continues to exercise the most sovereign-like authority over the island. It would thus be compelled to award sovereignty of Hans Island to the Danish.

In accordance with Article 4 of the 1973 Delimitation Agreement, the baselines would be adjusted to incorporate Hans Island. The effect of this would be to shift the international boundary to the north, increasing the size of Danish territorial waters. The result would be similar to the effect that Franklin (to the west of Hans Island) has on the baseline.


While historically, sovereignty was based upon first discovery and religious edicts, such as the Treaty of Tordesillas, the development of international law over time has demonstrated that first discovery alone will not be granted much weight by the ICJ when deciding cases where other factors are present, as exemplified by the Island of Palmas case.

The Nootka Crisis is important, as it can be seen as a starting point for when the principle of effective control became established. Indeed, from this point forwards, elaborate ceremonies of possession would need to be buttressed with occupation or administrative control.35

As the map of the world was being filled in with the respective colours of the European empires, it became necessary to delimit the territories such that administrative boundaries would become clear, and effective administration could take place. These treaties have proved useful in territorial disputes, not only because they can be referenced when trying to verify boundaries and ownership over territory, but also because they give an indication of the intent of the parties to the treaty, similar to a contract in civil law.36 As evidenced in the Islands of Palmas case, the foundation of the United States’ claim on the island was based upon the Treaty of Paris, which ceded the Philippines to the US, and from there, the Spanish claim of original discovery. Had the island not been included within the bounds of the territory to be ceded to the US, it is unlikely that the question of ownership would have ever arisen. In the case at hand, the treaty that can be referenced with regards to Hans Island, the US treaty with Denmark which ceded the Danish Virgin Islands to the US in 1916 made no reference to which areas of Greenland the US was relinquishing its claim.37 This is especially unfortunate in light of the fact that Hans Island was discovered during an American expedition, as it remains unclear if the Americans ever included Hans Island as part of their claim on northern Greenland. Had it done so, Denmark would be in a much stronger position to back its claim. Likewise, Canada would have benefited had the 1880 Order-in-Council been drafted in a manner which would have delimited the boundaries.

As with the Island of Palmas case, both Canada and Denmark have sent military expeditions to Hans Island as part of their attempt at securing their respective claims.38 Stevenson argues that these visits are inadequate and should be rejected by the ICJ in an eventual decision, as they would set a precedent that whichever nation can make the most frequent visits to the uninhabited regions of the world would be able to claim sovereignty over those territories, and could constitute the starting point for a ‘land rush.’

This view does not reflect the realities of the case at hand, nor of the situation in which the world finds itself at the dawn of the 21st Century. The world has long since been carved up by competing nations, and there are currently no other conceivable disputes over land territories in the high north. Hans Island is a classic sovereignty dispute that has been replayed numerous times around the world. It is an obscure island, the sovereignty of which is assumed by two parties who only realize they are in conflict when they agree to work together to delimit the international border between the countries.

It can be said that in the case of Canada, it is fortunate that this is the only territorial dispute that she is facing in the north with respect to a land feature. Canada’s systematic failure to maintain a constant presence in her Arctic territories does not assist her claims of sovereignty in this dispute, but it serves to strengthen Denmark’s claim.39

The Arctic is an inhospitable place, and it would be unreasonable to suggest that a lack of settlements or commercial activity would constitute an abandonment of a territorial claim. Government funded activities, either in the form of scientific research, or military activities are naturally a sound basis upon which effective control can be based.

Stevenson suggests that an equitable solution should be the basis for an ICJ decision on the sovereignty of Hans Island. While this sounds like a tidy solution to the question of sovereignty, it seems to ignore the history of sovereignty disputes, and the practical issue of management. History has scarce examples of island territories being voluntarily shared, with the most familiar examples of divided islands - Hispaniola, Cyprus, Borneo, Ireland - being the result of armed conflict.

While the possibility exists for Canada and Denmark to agree to an equitable decision by the ICJ,40 it would seem unnecessary for them to do so when it would be relatively straightforward to draft a treaty that would divide the island by connecting Points 122 and 123 of the 1973 Canada and Denmark Delimitation Treaty. If both parties submitted the case to the ICJ, it would be in order to secure a decision that would award the island in its entirety to one party or another. Thus, through examining the historical antecedents and ICJ jurisprudence in this article, the evidence suggests that Hans Island would be awarded to Denmark by the ICJ.

Canadian servicemen raising the Canadian flag on Hans Island, 13 July 2005.

DND photo RE2005-0114-37d by Corporal David McCord

Canadian servicemen raising the Canadian flag on Hans Island, 13 July 2005.


  1. P.R. Dawes, Hans og Hans . Grnland, 1985(2), pp. 47-59.

  2. Ibid.

  3. S. Banner, How the Indians lost their land: Law and power on the frontier, 1st Edition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007).

  4. D. Hayes, Historical Atlas of Canada: Canada's History Illustrated with Original Maps, 1st Edition, (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2002).

  5. N. Lynnerup, The Greenland Norse: a biological-anthropological study, in Meddelelser om Grnland, Man & Society, Volume 24, 1998.

  6. W.J. Mills, Exploring polar frontiers: a historical encyclopedia.(Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2003.)

  7. Government Printing Office, Convention between the United States and Denmark, New York: Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949, Vol. 1, (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1916), pp.18-28.

  8. Legal Status of Eastern Greenland (Denmark. vs. Norway), 1933 P.C.I.J. (ser. A/B) No. 53 (Apr. 5) (1933) Adatci.

  9. Dawes, pp. 47-59.

  10. P.R. Dawes & T. Tukiainen, “Hans , celebrated island of the Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada: from dog-sledge to satellite mapping.” in Review of Survey activities 2007, Issue 15, 2008, pp. 77-80.

  11. L. Dick, Muskox land: Ellesmere Island in the age of contact. (Calgary, AB: University of Calgary Press, 2001).

  12. P.R. Dawes & R.L. Christie, “History of exploration and geology in the Nares Strait region,” in Meddelelser om Grnland Geoscience, Volume 8, pp. 19-36.

  13. Order-in-Council, Adjacent Territories Order. At the Court of Osborne House. Isle of Wight, 1880.

  14. Dawes & Tukiainen, pp. 77-80.

  15. D. Rothwell, The Polar Regions and the Development of International Law, 1st Edition, (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

  16. A. Rubin, at, Accessed 1 August 2011.

  17. J. Crump, Canada under Attack. (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2010).

  18. L. Mills, “The Real significance of the Nootka Sound Incident,” in Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 6, No.2, 1925, pp. 110-122.

  19. Ibid.

  20. J.M. Norris, “The Policy of the British Cabinet in the Nootka Crisis,” in The English Historical Review, Vol. 70(277), pp. 562-580.

  21. The Hague Justice Portal, 2011, at, Accessed 28 July 2011.

  22. K.T.Gaubatz, The Online Casebook. 2008, at
    <> Accessed 14 August 2011.

  23. Treaty of Paris, 1898. Treaty of Peace between the United States and Spain. Paris: Yale Law School.

  24. Max Huber, The Island of Palmas Case (or Miangas), 1928.

  25. P.C. Jessup, “The Palmas Island Arbitration,” in The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 22, No. 4, 1928, pp. 735-752.

  26. Ibid.

  27. Ibid.

  28. Huber.

  29. R.J. Gillis, Navigational servitudes: sources, applications, paradigms (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2007).

  30. G. Schwarzenberger, “Title to Territory: Response to a Challenge,”in The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 51, No. 2, pp. 308-324.

  31. Dawes & Tukiainen, pp. 77-80.

  32. M. Berniet, Canada’s Arctic Sovereignty (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 2010).

  33. J. Kraska, Arctic Security in an Age of Climate Change.(Newport, RI: United States Naval War College, 2011).

  34. Basdevant, Minquiers and Ecrehos (France/United Kingdom). 1953, at 17&code=fuk&p3=4, accessed 3 August 2011.

  35. Mills.

  36. B.T. Sumner, “Territorial Disputes at The International Court Of Justice,” in Duke Law Journal, April, 2004, Vol. 53, No.6, pp. 1779-1812.

  37. Government Printing Office, Convention between the United States and Denmark, Etc.. New York: Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949, Vol. 1 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1916), pp. 18-28.

  38. British Broadcasting Corporation, 2005, Canada island visit angers Danes, at <>, accessed 2 August 2011.

  39. Tony Balasevicius, “Towards a Canadian Forces Arctic Operating Concept,” in the Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 11, No. 2, Spring 2011, pp. 20-31.

  40. Sumner.