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Winterschool in Rovaniemi (Lapland, Finland), January 2020

This intensive study program took place from the 19th to the 26th of January 2020 in Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, the northern most region in Finland. The winter school gathered around forty students chosen by the three partner universities, who followed teachings based on two of the courses created in the context of the programme: "Multilevel Governance of Natural Resources in the Arctic" et "Arctic Indigenous Peoples Law".
Students in Lapland

Rovaniemi rennes 2 Aurore boréale

Opening of the winterschool

Following an opening by Professor Jan Borm, vice-rector of UVSQ university, Professor Soili Nysten Haarala, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lapland, welcomed the participants.
Jan Borm Soili Nysten-Haarala Participants

Course "Multilevel Governance of Natural Resources in the Arctic" 

The different themes of the course Multilevel Governance of Natural Resources in the Arctic  were explored through numerous challenging presentations: 
  • Professor Soili Nysten-Haarala et Researcher Maria Tysiachniouk:  "Multilevel governance of natural ressources in Russia - CSR or regulation"
  • Professor Lara Johannsdottir, University of Iceland:  "The Arctic and Risks - transportation and oil spills"
Maria Tsoukanova Lara
  • Professor, Soili Nysten-Haaralan, University of Lapland : "Land Rights in Alaska compared to the 48 lower states of the U.S.A. Autonomy / susistence economy / fishing and hunting "
  • Senior Lecturer Dr. Ilari Hovila (University of Lapland ) et Researcher Anssi Kärki: "Compensation of environmental damages in bankrupt companies"
  • Postdoctoral Researcher Minna Pappila, University of Turku (Finland): "Environmental Law in Russia"
  • Dr. Ilze Dubava, Riga Graduate School of Law: "Investment treaty arbitration and indigenous peoples' rights, case examples"
These presentations were complemented by a seminar around:
  • Professor Soili Nysten-Haarala (Arctic perspective)
  • Associate Professor Elena Cirkovic, University of Helsinki (Canadian perspective)
  • Senior Researcher Yanan Zhang, Shanghai University of Political Science and Law and Professor Matti Nojonen, University of Lapland (Chinese perspective)

Canada Chinese perspective 1 Chinese perspective 2

Course "Arctic Indigenous Peoples Law"

The themes of the course Arctic Indigenous Peoples Law were dealt with through several conferences/debates:
  • Professor Gudmundur Alfredsson, University of Akureyri (Island):  "Greenlandic Self-determination"
  • Senior researcher Tanja Joona, Arctic Center, University of  Lapland: "Indigenous peoples' rights to land in the Arctic with Comparative approach, including Finland, Sweden and Norway - Legal cases from Sweden and a different model (Finnmark Act) in Norway"
  • Professor Soili Nysten-Haarala, ResearcherMaria Tysiachniouk et Postdoctoral Researcher Minna Pappila (University of Turku): "Indigenous and minorities' Rights in Russia. Russian Legislation (federal and regional level) and practice based on empirical findings"
Gudmundur Tanja Maria et Mina
And also:
  • Olga Pushina (Researcher), University of Lapland: "Hierarchy of legal sources regulating minorities' rights in Russia"
  • Karolina Sikora (PhD student), University of Lapland: "Cultural Rights of the Komi people"
  • Elena Cirkovic, (Associate Professor), University of Helsinki: "Indigenous Rights in Canada"
  • Markku Kiikeri, Senior Lecturer, University of Lapland, "Interpretation of collective rights. The "overall consideration" and criteria of "Sami way of life" in the case law of the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court 2011-2019"


Students were involved in working groups, under the supervision of their teachers, to finalise their papers, part of the evaluation of the session.

They also had the opportunity  to live three wonderful experiences:
A  Presentation of the Arctic Centre (Research Center) followed by a Guided Excursion to Arktikum exhibitions.

Arktikum extérieur Arktikum intérieur Exh
A visit to Reindeer herding cooperative of Palojärvi (60km from Rovaniemi) where students are introduced to the everyday life of reindeer herding, before attending a presentation by Senior researcher Juha Joona "Reindeer herding right in Finland and Sweden - administration and the right to use land"

Etudiants Rennes Forest Reindeer and sleigh
And, finally the excursion "Stepping across the Arctic Circle" allowed a nice gathering moment in Santa Claus Village! 
Santa Claus