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UNOOSA initiates Legal Advisory Project Space law for new space actors

Awareness of, and adherence to, international space law is becoming more important than ever. Therefore, UNOOSA presents a new space law project to deliver specific technical advisory missions (TAM), targeted and tailored for regulatory authorities of space faring nations.

UNOOSA initiates Legal Advisory Project for Space Law for new space actors. A record number of countries and non-governmental entities are investing in the space environment. The reasoning behind this is that space activities support economic growth, deliver high returns on investment, generate new technologies and create jobs.

Key areas

There is a responsibility of states for governmental and nongovernmental space activities. Also, there are numerous discussions on the liability for damage caused by space objects. Above that, there’s the duty to provide information on and to register space objects. UNOOSA wishes to promote awareness of legal and policy aspects, draw attention of authorities and decision-makers to topical issues. Next to this, UNOOSA is promoting implementation of the legal regime of outer space and enhance capacity-building efforts. A typical activity under the Space Law for New Space Actors project covers a 12-months period, working with the requesting Member State. There is a four stage method in place for this. Stage 1) baseline analysis, Stage 2) on-site legal advisory services, Stage 3) follow up advisory services and Stage 4) an impact evaluation.

Objectives

The new project will allow UNOOSA to establish dedicated advisory services to facilitate space faring nations to draft national space law and national space policy that is in line with international space law. The project aims to propel collaboration with requesting states, identify their needs and deliver tailored advisory services. Furthermore, it wants to raise global awareness levels of the fundamental principles of international space law. Also, it is meant to support the universalization, adherence and implementation of the key components of a normative framework.

Read more: 12th-European Space Conference; focus on growth,  climate and security

Services on offer

Services on offer include the support of partners to decode the fundamentals of international space law, increasing their capacity to draft or revise national space law and policy. Next to this, UNOOSA supports partners to implement existing normative frameworks, such as the Outer Space Treaty, the Registration Convention and the UN Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines. Lastly, UNOOSA supports partners to enhance understanding of the rapidly evolving legal framework governing space.

Beneficiaries

This project is interesting for policy-makers and legislators. UNOOSA will tailor its capacity-building and advisory services to the needs and requirements of policy-makers and legislators in governmental and regulatory authorities. This is specifically for countries who are either entering the space sector for the first time. Or, if they are embarking upon new phases of space activities.

Wider context

Recent UNOOSA activities in space law and policy entailed a series of UN workshops. Some examples of these are China (2014) and UNOV Vienna (2016). Then, UNOOSA organized a series of UN conferences on space law and policy. In 2018, there was one in the Russian Federation (2018); and another in Turkey/APSCO (2019). Regularly, UNOOSA receives requests for targeted technical legal assistance to support in the development of national space policies and legislation.

12th European Space Conference
UNOOSA’s Yukiko Okumura at the 12th European Space Conference.

During the 12th European Space Conference in Brussels, Yukiko Okumura, UNOOSA’s Associate Expert in Space Law and Policy, urged all stakeholders and others interested to get in touch with her or subscribe through the dedicated website.