4 April 2011. Together with the Delegation of the Russian Federation to the UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee, ESPI organised an evening event to discuss the “Perspectives for Space Law”. 

On the occasion of the 50th anniversaries of UNCOPUOS and its Legal Subcommittee (LSC) as well as the first human spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin, ESPI hosted in cooperation with the Delegation of the Russian Federation to the UNCOPUOS an event with renowned academicians and practitioners to look into the status quo and the future of space law (programme download here).

The panel discussions were introduced by the Head of the Russian delegation to the UNCOPUOS LSC, Vasiliy Tituskin and Ahmad Talebzadeh, the Chairman of the UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee. Moderated by ESPI Director Kai-Uwe Schrogl (who is a member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics), the participating experts in the first panel discussion Setsuki Aoki (Keio University), José Monserrat Filho (Brazilian Space Agency), Vladimir Kopal (Pilsen University), Sergio Marchisio (European Centre for Space Law) and Maureen Williams (International Law Association) raised the question of whether the current legal regime properly responds to legal issues triggered by new developments in the space sector. The topics discussed ranged from the commercialisation and privatisation of outer space, the legal uncertainty in the field of suborbital flights to the need to guarantee a sustainable use of outer space. It became clear that the corpus of existing space law represents an important base from which the legal tools can be developed to properly regulate the new space activities.

During the second panel discussion Peter van Fenema (McGill University), Anatoly Kapustin (People’s Friendship University Moscow), Laura Montgomery (Federal Aviation Administration), Judge Helmut Türk (International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea) and Victor S. Veshchunov (Interspunik IOSC) debated the role of UNCOPUOS in the procedure of space law making after five decades of its existence and the rising influence of other international space law forums and committees as well as the perspectives of operators and other non-governmental actors. The panels were concluded with an emphasis on the need to shape the legal landscape in a way that basic principles such as the freedom of use of outer space, non- appropriation, cooperation and sharing benefits as well as responsibility and liability remain but are supplemented and refined by provisions which also provide the best opportunities for the further development of space use and application for public as well as commercial services.


First Panel with (from left): Setsuko Aoki (Professor, Keio Universityaoki), Olga Volynskaya (Legal Expert, Roskosmos), Vladimir Kopal (Professor, Pilsen University), Sergio Marchisio (President, European Centre for Space Law (ECSL), Maureen Williams (Chairperson, International Law Association - ILA, Space Law Committee), José Monserrat Filho (Head of International Cooperation, Brazilian Space Agency; Member of the Board of Directors, International Institute of Space Law - IISL)

Second Panel with (from left): Vasiliy Titushkin (Deputy Head of Legal Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia; Head of the Russia Delegation to UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee), Bernhard Schmidt-Tedd (Legal Adviser, German Aerospace Center - DLR), Anatoly Kapustin (Dean, People’s Friendship University of Moscow), Laura Montgomery (Senior Attorney, Federal Aviation Administration - FAA), Victor S. Veshchunov (Executive Director, Intersputnik - IOSC), Peter van Fenema (Adjunct Professor, McGill University Montréal), Judge Helmut Türk, (Vice-President, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea)


These two panel discussions served as an effective platform for a dialogue between leading academicians and distinguished stakeholders of the space community, attracting a large audience mainly composed of delegates to the UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee from around the world. The event was organised on ESPI’s side by Resident Fellow Mildred Trögeler.


The Chairman of the UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee, Ahmad Talebzadeh during his opening address

The first panel with audience

The second panel with Vasily Titushkin (Deputy Director, Legal Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian Federation) speaking

The organizers of the event: Mildred Trögeler (ESPI; second from right) and Olga Mozolina (Russian Permanent Mission in Vienna; second from left) with Russian and ESPI participants


- Programme

photo credit: ESPI

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