By Hugues Goosse

When we flew to Antarctica, we cross the international border at Cape Town but no border at Novolazarevskaya station or at Princess Elisabeth station. The readers with a legal sensibility may ask then which laws apply in this ‘international environment’?

This is officially ruled by the Antarctic treaty. However, the situation is complex and may differ from countries to countries and for different parts of Antarctica. We will thus just focus on our field campaign.

The panel announcing our flight to Antarctica.

To go to Antarctica, you need to have a permit. This permit includes an evaluation of the impact of the trip on the environment. You cannot just go and travel where you want.

Our permit was delivered by the Belgian government. Belgium considers basically that its laws applies in Antarctica to all the ones that receive a permit from Belgium. Consequently, for us, it is just the same legal rules as at home, with a few additional specificities in order to protect the Antarctic environment.

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