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ABA Space Law: Current and Future Issues – Morning Sessions

Today the ABA Forum on Air and Space Law’s event Space Law: Current and Future Issues is being held at Jones Day in Washington, D.C.

The morning kicked off with a keynote speech by Rep. Steven Palazzo. He covered issues that face Congress in the regulation of space activities. He focused primarily on commercial space activities and the future challenges that these activities present for the legislative branch.

The first panel of the day was on Recent Developments in Space Law, Challenges, Changes, or the Same Old Thing?. It consisted on Prof. Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz and P.J. Blount. Gabrynowicz covered the variety of space activity related laws being promulgated in individual states of the United States, and she briefly discussed property rights in space. Blount covered the Proposed ITAR rule changes and how space works in the current “pivot to Asia” in U.S. Foreign policy.

The next panel was titled Managing Space Launch Risks. It was moderated by Franceska Schroeder and included Laura Montgomery, Clayton Mowry, and Michael Woods. This panel consisted of an in-depth discussion of insurance and indemnity regimes for launch providers, on orbit operators, and human space flight. Of particular note was a discussion in which the U.S. regime was compared to the French regime. The panel also addressed the status of astronauts on commercial space flights.

The third panel was titled Disruption in Space and Telecommunications. It was chaired by Elizabeth Evans and included Stefan Lopatkiewicz, Brian Weimer, and Michael Woods. This panel first discussed issues of satellite jamming and how international law and the ITU has responded to the problems of satellite jamming. It then discussed issues related to cell phone disruption both by commercial entities and by government entities and the lack of clarity in the applicable law.