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ABA – Space Law: Current an Future Issues – International Space Practitioners’ Panel

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The fourth panel of the ABA Forum on Air & Space Law’s space symposium was the International Space Practitioners’ Panel. It was chaired by Dara Panahy and included Rolf Olofsson, Lucien Rapp, Jim Muncy, an Ken Hodgkins.

Olofsson started the panel with remarks on telecommunications satellites and the ITU regime that governs these satellites. His discussion also covered national licensing schemes and gave comparisons of how a variety of countries govern their satellite providers. Broadly he covered all the legal hurdles that a new satellite operator must go through in order to launch and operate a satellite.

Rapp’s comments began by stating that practitioners rarely use the Outer Space Treaty. He then moved to a discussion of practicing space law from the European perspective. He discussed how space law is developed in Europe, discussing national laws as well as the E.U. processes.

Jim Muncy discussed the international legal issues involved with human space flight. He stated that while there are national regimes governing human space flight, there is no international regime. He compared this to the early days of aviation law and stated that it was forty years from the Wright Brothers to the Warsaw Conventions. He finished by giving an overview of the variety of regimes that are being proposed to regulate human space flight.

Hodgkins covered the challenges of implementing the Outer pace Treaty and ensuring U.S. compliance. He stated that the treaties were unique in that they acknowledged that everyone has a stake in space exploration and that the implementation of the space treaties is entirely state based. He stated that this creates challenges due to the fact that space activities are increasingly multinational ventures. He stated that multinational projects created issues with registration, liability, and licensing.