Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 330

330 Arctic Yearbook 2015 immobile on or under the seabed or are unable to move except in constant physical contact with the seabed or the subsoil”) found in the soil and sub-soil. Because they have no rights over the water column or the airspace, they cannot regulate or interfere with civilian and military traffic (UNCLOS 1982: 77–82; Byers 2014: 93). States can block the UNCLOS process if they find that it is in their best interest to do so. UNCLOS only provides a set of rules for how much territory states can claim, while determining the final delimitation lines depends on political agreements between the states. One state can disrupt the process by challenging the content of other states’ claims or by refusing to compromise at the negotiation table. In that sense, the process depends largely on political considerations (McDorman 2002). The role of CLCS is to evaluate the scientific validity of the states’ claims, before the states can sit down at the negotiating table. CLCS does not determine the legality of the states’ claims, but only determines whether the scientific evidence provided by states supports their claims regarding the nature of the continental shelf. CLCS’s power lies in the legitimacy that states assign to its recommendations. This power enables it to facilitate a facts-based process by supplying information to other potential parties and thus decreasing transaction costs for states. CLCS also limits the extent of the claims that states can reasonably make, because it forces the states to present scientific data to show the legality of their claims (McDorman 2002). The claims process basically runs through three phases: submission of claims, evaluation of claims, and recommendation from CLCS. First, states submit their claims based on scientific data. Norway, Denmark and Russia have made claims to the Arctic Ocean, while Canada has yet to submit its claims to CLCS (Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Government of Greenland 2014; The Russian Federation 2001; The Russian Federation 2015; Kingdom of Norway 2006). Norway does not claim the North Pole and there are only minor overlaps with other nations’ submissions (Kingdom of Norway 2006; The Russian Federation 2015; Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Government of Greenland 2014). Second, the CLCS then evaluates the scientific assertions in the claims. CLCS can only make recommendations if other nations do not make claim to the same area and protest against CLCS considering the evidence. States can thus use this mechanism to disrupt the process. For instance, when Russia submitted its first claim in 2001, several of the other states argued that the Russian submission did not provide enough data to allow them to form an opinion (Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations 2002; Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations 2002). The states have since agreed to allow CLCS to consider their claims (The Russian Federation 2015; Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Government of Greenland 2014). Third, CLCS provides its recommendations, based on the evidence provided by the states. If a state is dissatisfied with its findings, the state can submit new evidence. Once CLCS recommendations have been reached, the involved states can use them to negotiate a final settle Y[