About the researchers

Rachael is a professor of law at the University of runs the Polar law masters programme. She also holds a 25% professorship at Ilisimatusarfik (the University of Greenland). She presented her preliminary findings from the fieldwork at the 14 Polar Law Symposium. Her publications regarding Greenland include:


Martin and Jonathan are both masters students in Polar law. Martin defended his masters thesis, “Perspectives on Colonialism in Northwest Greenland”, in Spring 2021. He showed that the legal and political history in Avanersuaq is marked by colonial behaviours and attitudes that defined and excluded the Inughuit. Greenlandic and Danish authorities reproduce these colonial patterns today, leading to contemporary problems for the Inughuit. Martin also published an article on this subject in the Arctic Yearbook, and presented his findings at the 14 Polar Law Symposium. He is currently working as an intern at NAMMCO to find ways the organisation could include user knowledge in its management advice framework.

Jonathan decided to wait for the fieldwork before submitting his thesis, entitled “Free, Prior Informed Consent in Greenlandic Extractive Industries: Is it Really Free?” In his thesis, he explores the colonial legacy on international law on the Indigenous peoples of Greenland and the effects it has had on recent projects. His fieldwork in Nuuk consisted of dispelling the notion that Greenland was dependent on external standards. Jonathan found that Greenlanders have been very adaptable in tailoring international standards to fit the unique geography and society in Greenland. Jonathan will give a lecture at the 15th Polar Law Symposium in October of 2022 on his topic at the University of Iceland campus, where he is a PhD Candidate in Political Science as of August 2021.

Contact information:
Rachael Lorna Johnstone, rlj@unak.is
Martin Binachon, binachon.martin@gmail.com
Jonathan Wood, wood.jonathan.w@gmail.com

Read more about the whole research project here