Thank you, and see you next year in Kobe!

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Dear Participants to the 13th Polar Law Symposium:

At its closure, I as the Convenor of the 13th Polar Law Symposium Special Online Session would like to express my deepest gratitude to your active participation during the past three weeks in this unprecedented virtual event in the 13-year history of the Symposium. We have had 354 registered participants, with 43 uploaded individual presentations either by slideshows or by video viewing, 12 live events successfully convened with 28 oral interactive presentations and lectures, almost all of them being made available later through on-demand video viewing. We counted a total of 77 textual comments and replies entered to those presentations and videos, as well as 580 YouTube “views” on those on-demand videos.

Nothing can replace face-to-face discussions, particularly in our areas of polar law and policy studies, where the use of precise terms and streamlined logics are fundamental for the strength of our arguments. The power-point-presentations and 15-minute videos are only the start of such important discussions to follow which, most often than not, would occur over coffee breaks and conference dinners if it were an in-person conference.

With this spirit and with the agreement of the two Co-Hosts of the Polar Law Symposium, Kobe University Polar Cooperation Research Centre (Kobe PCRC) has accepted to host the 14th Polar Law Symposium in 2021. Provisionally, we plan to hold the physical meeting on 21 to 23 November (Sunday to Tuesday, a Japanese holiday) at Kobe University Main Campus in Kobe, Japan. At the same time, Kobe PCRC is very much aware of continuing uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 worldwide, particularly as to the availability of vaccines and its effect on international travels. Kobe PCRC will need to consider the possibility of holding the Symposium both in-person and online, with extra logistical and financial challenges to overcome. Due to those uncertainties and challenges, we expect the preparation of the Symposium will commence later than usual, probably in April 2021, starting with the call for abstracts. The final mode of the Symposium may not be determined until much later. I appreciate your patience and understanding in this regard.

Thank you again, and I hope to see as many of you as possible in-person in Kobe next year!

Akiho Shibata
Professor of International Law, Director,
Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC)
Kobe University

For any inquiry regarding the Polar Law Symposium,
you may continue to use: 2020_pls_kobe [at]