Scott Joblin

PhD Candidate
BA, BA(Hons), MDi, MSA
Room 5.3.11

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Research Themes


Scott Joblin is a PhD Candidate with the ANU College of Law. His research relates to Antarctic environmental protection and the legal status of the hydrocarbons of the Southern Ocean Area. His academic interests include Antarctic legal affairs, international environmental law, the law of the sea, and deep seabed mining.

Scott has presented his research internationally, including in the US, Canada, UK, Norway, and New Zealand. He has been a Visiting Reader at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University.  In 2017, he was a rapporteur at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in Beijing, China.  More recently, he was also a member of the Arctic 100 Expedition - a Finnish-led icebreaker transit of the Northwest passage, which set the historic record for the earliest seasonal traversal.    

Scott holds a Master of Diplomacy and a Master of Strategic Affairs from the ANU, alongside a BA (Hons) in International Relations and a BA in Political Science from Victoria University Wellington. He is a prior recipient of the Freyberg Scholarship and the JFK Prize for American Government and Politics. Outside of academia, Scott's work experience includes roles in the New Zealand House of Representatives and NSW Government.

Recent news

Finnish icebreaker Nordica
After serving as a rapporteur at the annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Beijing, Scott Joblin is about to join an Arctic icebreaker expedition undertaking the North West Passage to Greenland.
PhD Candidate Scott Joblin explores what implications the Scottish independence vote may have on the Antarctic Treaty.

Please note, only a small selection of recent publications and activities are listed below.

Refereed journal articles

The 1991 Antarctic Environmental Protocol; 25 Years in Retrospect. 2016. ANZSIL Perspective Paper No.8

Conference papers & presentations

International Law in Antarctica. DFAT Diplomatic Academy. ANU College of Law, ANU. Canberra, Australia. 2016 [Guest Lecture]

Mineral Regime Interaction in the Southern Ocean. KG Jebsen Centre on the Law of the Sea, Arctic University of Norway. Tromsø, Norway. 2015 [Guest Lecture]

The Antarctic – Mineral Resources, Environmental Protection, and International Law. Dept. of Geography. Royal Holloway, University of London. Egham, United Kingdom. 2015 [Guest Lecture]

Antarctic Environmental Protection and the Legal Status of Hydrocarbons in the Southern Ocean Area. 8th Polar Law Symposium. Anchorage, Alaska, USA. 2015 [Conference Presentation]

The Uncertain Status of the Minerals of the Antarctic. ANZSIL Conference. Wellington, New Zealand. 2015 [Conference Presentation]

Antarctic Territoriality in the Asian Century. 7th Polar Law Symposium. Hobart, Tasmania. 2014 [Conference Presentation]

EU-Russian Gas Supply Diversification. EUCN Conference. Dunedin, New Zealand. 2008 [Conference Presentation]


Will Scotland Have a Territorial Claim to the Antarctic? 2014. International Policy Digest. <

Oil and Ice: Petroleum Extraction in Antarctica. 2010. Online Opinion. <>


Antarctic Environmental Protection and the Legal Status of the Hydrocarbons of the Southern Ocean Area.


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Further information

Scott’s PhD research involves the examination of the interaction of the Antarctic Treaty System and 1982 United Nations Laws of the Sea Convention (LOSC) with respect to legal status of hydrocarbons in the Southern Ocean Area.


In accordance with Article 7 of the 1991 Antarctic Environmental Protocol, the extraction of all hydrocarbons from the Antarctic Treaty Area (the area south of 60° South latitude) is prohibited. The geographic ambit of the prohibition applies to both the entirety of Antarctic continent and Southern Ocean seabed.  A point of legal uncertainty, however, arises as to the legitimacy of the prohibition for those States party to both the Antarctic Environmental Protocol and LOSC.  This is as a result of the declaration of the LOSC that the Area (the Deep Seabed) is the "Common Heritage of Mankind."  Although this politico-legal concept is complex, central to it is the understanding that the minerals of the Area may be subject to potential utilisation pending such acts are approved and undertaken in accordance with the provisions and procedures of International Seabed Authority (the Authority being organ established by the LOSC charged to manage Area mineral activities on behalf of Mankind). 


Bearing in mind the recent maturation of seabed mineral extraction technologies, combined with the observation that many States – including Australia, are Party to both instruments, the objective of the investigation is to move towards a determination of the legal status of the hydrocarbons and whether their utilisation is indeed prohibited under international law.

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team