copy of april_2010_conference_2..jpg 9 April 2010. Together with ISPRS, IAA and IISL, ESPI organised a two-day conference on "Current legal issues for satellite Earth observation" at its premises in Vienna. The focus was put on treaty monitoring and privacy conflicts.

The regulatory framework for satellite Earth observation is in need for optimisation in various areas. Two of them have been the focal points of this two day conference, co-organised by the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) and ESPI, which also was the host for this event. The two issues were: treaty monitoring and law enforcement through satellite Earth observation and privacy conflicts from high resolution imaging. Eminent speakers from Europe, the U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia introduced the topics followed by thorough discussions and a profound concluding roundtable (programme download here).


Speakers at the conference (from left): Kai-Uwe Schrogl (ESPI), Ray Purdy (Faculty of Laws, University College London Bentham House), Catherine Doldirina (McGill University, Montreal), Jean-Michel Contant (IAA), Matxalen Sánchez Aranzamendi (ESPI), Gunter Schreier (DLR), Ed Parsons (Google Earth), Herbert Allgeier (Chairman of the ESPI Advisory Council), George Cho (Law Faculty of Applied Science, University of Canberra), Frans G. von der Dunk (Space and Telecommunications Law Program, University of Nebraska), Sai'd Mosteshar (London Institute for Space Policy and Law), Atsuyo Ito (Researcher, Tokyo), Rainer Sandau (ISPRS-IPAC), Jean-Francois Mayence (Belgian Federal Office for Science Policy), Tanja Masson-Zwaan (IISL), Jana Jentzsch (Attorney-at -law, Hamburg)

The conference was attended by around 50 experts in the field. The organising institutions were represented by high representatives: IISL by its President Tanja Masson-Zwaan, IAA by its Secretary General Jean-Michel Contant and ISPRS by the Chairman of its International Policy Activities Committee Rainer Sandau, who also co-moderated the concluding Roundtable with ESPI's Director Kai-Uwe Schrogl. The conference management was held by ESPI's Resident Fellow Matxalen Sánchez Aranzamendi, who also moderated one session.


Audience, with front row from right: Tanja Masson-Zwaan (President IISL),
Jean-Michel Contant (Secretary General IAA), Rainer Sandau (Chairman ISPRS-IPAC)

In the course of the sessions on treaty monitoring and law enforcement through satellite Earth observation and on privacy conflicts from high resolution imaging, the discussions elaborated on a wide range of topics. The speakers investigated into the efficient use of EO data for treaty verification with a focus on the incorporation of binding provisions for that purpose. Also the improved use of EO data in law enforcement occupied part of the discussion while trying to ensure confidence in and reliability of data. The effective use of EO data in disaster management received extensive attention as the extension of the scope of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters. On other grounds, the issue of privacy was tackled as satellite data is closely linked to privacy concerns. Connected to this, the concept of privacy was analysed in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the wide range of European legislation and competences affecting privacy considerations.









Roundtable at the conference (from left): Rainer Sandau, Gunter Schreier,
Ray Purdy, George Cho, Tanja Masson-Zwaan and Kai-Uwe Schrogl

In concluding, the conference developed recommendations with regard to the use of satellite data in a wide range of juridical aspects. The recommendations emanating from the closing roundtable address the following main topics: capacity building on the use of satellite data in the context of law enforcement and disaster management, the incorporation of satellite data in international legal instruments and the development of a common principles on privacy applicable to remote sensing activities. The presentations at the conference can be downloaded here. Proceedings with papers emanating from the presentations together with an elaboration of the conclusions and recommendations will be published as an ESPI Report.

- Programme
- Presentations



International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing



  International Academy of Astronautics


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International Institute of Space Law

photo credits: ISPRS, IAA, IISL, ESPI

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