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 population. 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. 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. Abstract since its establishment in 1959 the antarctic treaty system ats has defused the risks of sovereign competition which arose from the early era of exploration in antarctica and were later brought to a head in the early years of the cold war. 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
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