About Polar Law Institute

The Polar Law Institute is a non-profit research and education institution and operates within the University of Akureyri. It was established in June 2009, following the graduation of the first Polar Law students from the University of Akureyri. The Polar Law Institute has primarily focused on organizing the annual Polar Law Symposiums that are held in September. The aims and purposes of Polar Law Institute are:

  • To raise funds for and carry out research projects in cooperation with other parties,
  • Support the Polar Law programme of the University of Akureyri
  • Provide teaching in individual courses or in cooperation with the University of Akureyri or other institutions,
  • Enhance cooperation of academics, the public sector and the private sector within the field of Polar Law,
  • Strengthen cooperation of various parties in the interest of inter-disciplinary studies,
  • Organize symposiums, seminars and lectures on Polar law, including the annual Polar Law Symposium,
  • Publication of books and Articles on Polar Law, including the Yearbook of Polar Law.

Director: Embla Eir Oddsdóttir, embla@polarlaw.is


The Polar Law Institute is governed by a managerial board of 5 individuals.

The current board members are:

  • Arngrímur B. Jóhannsson, Chairman, owner of Into the Arctic Exhibition 
  • Dr. Guðmundur Alfreðsson, Law Professor, University of Akureyri 
  • Dr. Niels Einarsson, Director, Stefansson Arctic Institute 
  • Tom Barry, Executive Secretary, CAFF 


  • Joan Nymand Larsen, Senior Scientist and Research Director, Stefansson Arctic Institute 
  • Margrét Heinreksdóttir,  LL.M.  Former Lector, University of Akureyri