The antarctic treaty and related agreements collectively known as the antarctic treaty system ats regulate international relations with respect to antarctica earths only continent without a native human populationfor the purposes of the treaty system antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60s latitudethe treaty entered into force in 1961 and currently has . While there are no laws as we traditionally know them there is a treaty and many international agreements in place between the cooperating nations of antarctica in reality the international scientific community governs antarctica because those are the people who work and operate on the continent. 1 antarctica was only discovered in 1773 by captain cook who first crossed the southern polar circle searching for the terra australis it constitutes about 9 of the earths landmass and almost 14 million square kilometres of its surface. Antarctica is the last most inhospitable frontier on earth yet it presents a great number of unresolved conflicts between nations individuals environmentalists scientists and business groups. Antarctica one of the worlds last great wildernesses presents special challenges for international law fears that antarctica would become a front in the cold war catalysed agreement on the 1959 antarctic treaty which neither legitimised nor challenged the existing sovereign claims to the continent
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