House of Lords Library

Antarctic Bill (HL Bill 76 of 2012-13)

Published Monday, January 28, 2013

The Antarctic Bill would implement Annex VI (the ‘Liability Annex’) to the Antarctic Treaty’s Environmental Protocol and sets out measures to reduce risks of environmental emergencies in Antarctica. It would also make a number of changes to the Antarctic Act 1994 to give additional protection to the Antarctic environment. This Library Note provides background information in advance of the Bill’s second reading in the House of Lords on 1 February 2013.

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The Antarctic Bill would implement Annex VI (the ‘Liability Annex’) to the Antarctic Treaty’s Environmental Protocol and sets out measures to reduce risks of environmental emergencies in Antarctica. It would also make a number of changes to the Antarctic Act 1994 to give additional protection to the Antarctic environment. This Library Note provides background information in advance of the Bill’s second reading in the House of Lords on 1 February 2013. It gives brief background on the UK’s involvement in the Antarctic and the Antarctic Treaty, before summarising the Bill’s report stage and third reading in the House of Commons. The Note should be read in conjunction with House of Commons Library Research Paper, Antarctic Bill, (30 October 2012, RP 12/63), and House of Commons Library Standard Note, Antarctic Bill: Committee Stage, (17 January 2013, SN/IA/6528). Also relevant are House of Lords Library Note, Debate on 18 October, Scott Expedition to Antarctica and Scientific Legacy, (16 October 2012, LLN 2012/034) and House of Commons Library Standard Note, Antarctica: The Treaty System and Territorial Claims, (18 July 2012, SN/IA/5040).

Lords Library notes LLN-2013-003

Author: Ian Cruse

Topics: Environmental protection, International law

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