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Seventh Galloway Symposium: Practitioners’ Roundtable – Working With and Serving the Day-to-Day Legal Needs of Regional and Global Space Organizations

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The final panel of the Seventh Galloway Symposium was moderated by Prof. Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz and was titled Practitioners’ Roundtable: Working With and Serving the Day-to-Day Legal Needs of Regional and Global Space Organizations.

Participants included Marco Ferrazzani, ESA Legal Counsel, Head of Legal Department, European Space Agency Headquarters; Dr. Tare Brisibe, Chair LSC UNCOPUOS; E. Jason Steptoe, Associate General Counsel, International Law Practice Group, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC; Stephen E. Smith, Sherman & Howard, Space Law Practice Group Co-Chair; and Dennis Burnett, Vice President Trade Policy and Export Control, EADS North America.

This round table discussion covered a wide range of topics in a lively conversation. The starting point for the conversation was advice for young lawyers on what it takes to become a practitioner in the area. All the panelists agreed that the paths into the field were varied but that core lawyering skills were a must. The panel then addressed a variety of issues from ITAR to how to advise clients that were engaging in new space activities. The discussion served as a great capstone to the day’s event by highlighting the variety of ways that lawyers interact with space clients and how these interactions can facilitate successful space activities.

Seventh Galloway Symposium: Restructured Organizations – From the Cold War to the Era of Globalization

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The Third panel of the Seventh Galloway Symposium was titled Restructured Organizations: From the Cold War to the Era of Globalization and was chaired by Prof. Corinne Jorgenson, President, Advancing Space and Executive Secretary of the International Institute of Space Law.

Elina Morozova, Head of International and Legal Service of Intersputnik gave the first presentation. She started with a brief history of Intersputnik pointing to its socialist roots and stating that today there are 29 members. Additionally, she said that Intersputnik’s membership is open to any state and that it is a “universal” international organization. She stated that a variety of documents govern Intersputnik, and that it has a three level management structure. This structure consists of the Board, which makes decisions on long term goals and policies; the Operations Committee, which makes operational decisions; and the Directorate, which is the administrative arm of the organization. She noted that Intersputnik was the only international satellite organization that has not privatized, but that it was working to increase cooperation with business through initiatives such as its wholly owned subsidiary Intersputnik Holding, Ltd.

Chris Murphy, Senior Director, Government Affairs of Inmarsat gave the next presentation. He also started with a brief history explaining Inmarsat’s origin’s as a treaty organization in 1979. He said that it privatized in 1999 with its initial public offering in 2005. He stated though that the International Maritime Satellite Organization was created in order to oversee the corporation’s public service obligations. These include continuation of global maritime distress and safety services and support of GMDSS, non discrimination on the basis of nationality, Inmarsat shall seek to serve all areas where there is a need for mobile satellite communications, and fair competition. He stated though that Inmarsat was working on a number of emerging markets including emergency response, telemedicine, and defense.

Richard DalBello, V.P. Legal and Government Affairs of Intelsat General gave the third presentation. He started by noting that there was a common story among the various organizations on the panel that was about the move from the political context to the commercial context. According to DalBello Intelsat General’s roots were in INTELSAT, which was an IGO founded to fulfill the mandate for non-discriminatory access to satellite communications found in UN General Assembly Resolution 1721. He stated that after privatization the International Telecommunication Satellite Organization (ITSO) was formed to over see Intelsat General’s universal service commitments including lifeline services and nondiscriminatory access.

The final presentation was made by Patrick Masambu, Deputy Director General, ITSO, who presented on ITSO, IMSO, and Eutelsat. He noted that these three IGOs had shared histories in that they were all created to monitor previous satellite organizations that had privatized. He said that the challenges involved for these shifts included amending agreements for changed competencies, developing additional legal instruments, and maintaining protection of core services. He also noted there were common issues involved with flexibility in implementing changes and implementation of treaty provisions.

Seventh Galloway Symposium: Legal Aspects of Organizations with a Space Component

The second panel of the day, Legal Aspects of Organizations with a Space Component, was moderated by Prof. Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz

Barb Ryan, Director General, GEO, presented first on the Group on Earth Observations. She started by stating that GEO was created to develop GEOSS. She said that one of the goals of GEO is to fill gaps in data sets that occur for a variety of reasons. This is accomplished through a variety of mechanisms such as the Data Sharing Principles which encourage open access at minimal cost. The mechanisms, according to Ryan, are usually linked to soft law mechanisms such as Instruments with non-binding principles, informal institutions, and collaborative and coordinated work to maximize benefits. To this end she pointed that the Landsat data available online has been an example of how data can be opened up. She said that online distribution has not only allowed increased access by researchers, but that it has also pressured other countries to allow for open access to data.

The next presentation by Paul F. Ulihir, Director, Board on Research Data and Information, U.S. National Academies, was titled “From Outer Space to Cyberspace: the Evolution of the GEO Datasharing Principles and their Application.” His presentation focused on the dual nature of databases as both public goods and private goods. He stated that pure public goods are no depletable and nonexcludable and that private goods were depletable and excludable. In this respect he noted that databases are nondepletable but are also excludable. Therefore he stated that databases could be called quasi-public goods. He noted that specific legal problems involve copyright issues, but that facts in a database are not copyrightable, but that structures and organizations are copyrightable. He said this area of law is not understood well which often leaves researchers unclear with what to do with databases. He noted that there were several approaches, but endorsed using common use licenses developed by Creative Commons. These licenses, he said, allowed researchers to make data available, but also to reserve some rights in those databases.

Seventh Galloway Symposium: Founding Agreements of Regional and Global Space Organizations

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The first panel of the day was moderated by Prof. Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz and was titled Founding Agreements of Regional and Global Space Organizations.

The first presenter was Marco Ferranzzani, ESA Legal Counsel, Head of Legal Department, European Space Agency Headquarters who presented on the European Space Agency. He started with a brief history of ESA stating that its genesis was when European States realized that independent space programs would be counterproductive. As a result the ESA Convention was developed in the 1970s and entered into force in 1975. He stated that the convention was innovative in that it allowed the member states to decide how they would participate through a variety of mechanisms. Noting that one of the key purposes of the convention was cooperation and integration, he said the the Convention set out a framework for two types of activities. He stated tha there were mandatory activities. These activities are those in which all member states must participate, and decisions about these are made on a one state, one vote process. On the other hand he said that voluntary activities are those in which member states may choose to participate in. Decisions on these activities are made based on weighted votes taking into account a state’s contribution to a given activity. These decisions are made at the ministerial Council which is the governing body of ESA and then carried out via the auspices of the ESA Secretary General. Ferranzzani concluded by saying that is “fundamental for space activities in Europe and worldwide” and that to this end ESA has developed a number of tools to accomplish international cooperation.

Tare Brisibe, Chair, Legal Subcommittee UNCOPUOs was the second presenter and presented on the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He started with a brief history of UNCOPUOS, stating that it began as an ad hoc UN committee in 1958 and was made permanent in 1961. He said that there are currently 71 members. He also noted that there was a historical precedent within the committee for taking its decisions using consensus. Birisibe then stated that space law must be placed in its proper context which is as a branch of international law. He then enumerated several merging principles of space law including the duty of states to ensure sustainable development of natural resources, public participation and access to information and justice, good governance, and integration and legal participation. He stated that these principles were rooted in the traditional sources of international law. Brisibe then gave brief remarks on the agenda items of the Legal Subcommittee including The Status of treaties; Cape Town Convention protocol on space assets; capacity building in space law; the use of nuclear power sources in outer space; definition and delimitation of space; the use of the geostationary orbit; international mechanisms for cooperation; national space law legislation; debris mitigation; and the activities of intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations.

Seventh Galloway Symposium: Keynote – William H. Gerstenmaier

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The Seventh Galloway Symposium opened with welcoming statements from Prof. Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, Director, National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law; Corinne Jorgenson, Executive Secretary of the International Institute of Space Law; and Dr. Jonathan F. Galloway, Professor of Politics, Emeritus, Lake Forest College.

The welcoming statements were immediately followed by a keynote speech by William H. Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, NASA. Gerstenmaier’s comments covered the lessons that he as an engineer had learned about the legal aspects of space exploration. He first discussed the International Space Station. He noted that the ISS would not be possible without a great deal of international cooperation which facilitated by the Intergovernmental Agreement, which he characterized as a “tremendous agreement.” He noted that this agreement had many benefits which allowed the partners to work together. He noted that the framework allowed for the development of MOUs among the member states which allows for lower levels of interaction to be negotiated. He said that the agreement avoids the challenge of over specificity, which has allowed it to become an enduring framework by giving partner states the ability to adapt.

He concluded by discussing the Name the Node contest that NASA had to name a node on the ISS. He noted that the contest included a legal disclaimer that gave NASA the ability to name the node regardless of the outcome. However, he stated that as the contest became more popular as a result of the Colbert Report encouraging people to vote to name the node Colbert. In this case he noted that public opinion overtook the law, which was a valuable lesson. He also noted that Stephen Colbert and the Colbert Report were very supportive of the program which allowed for the resolution of the matter by naming the treadmill COLBERT.

The Seventh Eilene Galloway Symposium on Critical Issues in Space Law: Global and Regional Space Organizations and the Law

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Today the National Center on Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law in conjunction with the International Institute of Space Law is hosting the The Seventh Eilene Galloway Symposium on Critical Issues in Space Law at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. This year’s topic is Global and Regional Space Organizations and the Law. Res Communis will be blogging the event all day, so stay tuned.

IAC 2012: Wrap Up

It has was a busy week in Naples Italy at the IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space. Res Communis, could barely find time to post amidst all the fantastic papers and events. Here are some of the highlights:

Nandisiri Jasentuliyana Keynote Lecture and 4th Young Scholars Session
The Nandasirir Jesentuliyana Keynote Lecture was delivered by Sergio Marchisio of the Italian National Research Council. The fascinating lecture was on the European Draft Code of Conduct. Marchisio’s talk considered the draft code in context of efforts for “safe, secure, and sustainable” uses of outer space. He stated that the concept of sustainability must be considered in light of Article 3 of the Outer Space Treaty, which requires investigation into general international law. As a result he defined sustainability as use in such a way that allows for both present and future needs. He then went on to explain that there had been several efforts to secure sustainability and that the EU Draft Code of Conduct was one of these efforts.

Marchisio went on to discuss that the code was currently a draft for nonbinding principles, but that the hope was that it would lead to “normative conduct” by states. It is a “self sustained initiative” that is not meant for negotiation at the international forums (UNCOPUOS and the Conference on Disarmament), but that other states have been and will be consulted with. He also noted that the EU doesn’t note see the draft as an alternative to the PPWT which was introduced by China and Russia to the CD. Instead the draft is being viewed as a stepping stone to a future treaty.

Marchisio finished with a discussion of the soft law nature of the draft code. He said that the voluntary nature of the code represented a “joint political commitment” by states that may adopt it in the future. He stated though that his opinion was that once it was adopted it would form something more that a “voluntary” code and achieve what he described as “heightened legality.” He also stated that the code could represent moments of “effective legality.” According to Marchisio, while the draft code cannot derogate legal obligations found elsewhere in international law, an action consistent with the draft code could be presumed to be legal. An action inconsistent with the code, however, would shift the burden of proof of legality to the state committing that action.

Marchisio’ keynote was followed by a variety of papers presented by young scholars as well as a poster paper section for young scholars.

Technical Sessions
The technical sessions this year covered a wide range of material. There were sessions on the intersections of space law with both private international law and public international law. While the public international law session had a wide variety of topics, the session on private international law had a strong focus on the Cape Town Convention’s Space Asset Protocol. There was also a session on Legal evidence from outer space which surveyed a great deal of law involved with this practical topic. The final session was Recent Developments in Space Law, which had a number of presentations investigating the development of national space laws around the globe.

IISL/IAA Scientific-Legal Round Table
This year’s round table was on the topic of Optical Communications. These presentations focused in on the science and technology behind optical communications and how that technology would affect the legal regime. The various speakers disagreed on the amount of law that applies to this emerging technology, which made for a very lively discussion.

Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition World Finals
This year the Moot Court Competition saw, for the first time, four regions compete with the addition of the African Region. The final round was between the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece representing the European Region and the National Law School of India University, Bangalore India representing the Asia-Pacific Region. The world finals were presided over by H.E. Judge Leonid Skotonikov, H.E. Judge Xue Hanqin, and H.E. Judge Joan Donoghue all of the International Court of Justice. The National Law School of India University prevailed in the final round to take home the championship. The team also won the awards for best brief and best oralist. Team members include Vinodini Srinivasan, Viraj Parikh, and Prem Ayyathurai. The team was coached by Dr. Sarasu E. Thomas.

IISl Awards Dinner
The dinner this year was held seaside at the restaurant Zi Teresa. Two awards were given out. The Diederiks-Verschoor award for the best paper by a young scholar was awarded to Olavo de Oliveira Bittencourt Neto for his paper “The Elusive Frontier: Revisiting the Delimitation of Outer Space.”

The Distinguished Service award was given to one of the hardest working women in space law: Corinne Jorgenson. Corinne is the Executive Secretary of the IISL and has been editing the proceedings of the IISL for the past ten years. She works very hard to ensure that the IISL runs smoothly and can complete its mission. She was very deserving of this recognition.

IAC 2012, Naples, Italy

The 63rd International Astronautical Congress opened in beautiful Naples, Italy yesterday. The International Institute of Space Law’s 55th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space opens today as part of the congress. Res Communis is on site and will (wireless connection willing) bringing you all the space law news from the conference.

U.S. Commercial Space Law: Space Law Practice Groups

The final panel of the day was moderated by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, Director, National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law, university of Mississippi School of Law. The panel was titled Space Law Practice Groups.

The first panelist was Franceska O. Schroeder, Fish Richardson. She noted that Fish Richardson started as an intellectual property firm. She stated that he practice fits in because of the technical expertise of the IP lawyers in the firm. She stated that her practice covers a variety of legal fields that all deal with space activities.

Janna J. Lewis, Holland and Hart, was the next panelist. She stated that she is a patent attorney in the Holland and Hart space law group. She stated that she focuses on the technology side of these activities, but that the group involved a variety of attorneys, which leads to a collaborative process in representing client interests.

Giovanna Cinelli, Jones Day, discussed how a space law practice group works in a firm as large as Jones Day. She stated that the Jones Day practice attempts to be able to address any sort of legal issue that could arise for an aerospace client. To accomplish this she said that the firm works through the expertise of all the practice groups within the Jones Day firm. She stated that the advantage to this was the firm’s ability to leverage a variety of legal expertise for the client.

Next, Milton “Skip” Smith, Sherman & Howard, LLC, discussed his practice group. He stated that these types of practices were becoming more common, because of the proliferation of commercial activities in the space field as well as an increase in the number of potential clients. However, he noted that government contracting was still a significant portion of space law practice.

Finally, Pamela L. Meredith, Zuckert Scoutt & Rasenberger, LLP, discussed the practice group that she chairs. She said that her firm started as an aviation practice, so that the extension into space law was a natural one. She also noted that the subject matter involved with representing space clients was varied and required input from numerous attorneys with a variety of expertises.

U.S. Commercial Space Law: Space Insurance Contracts

The next panel of the U.S. Commercial Space Law: Licensing: A Practitioners “Tool Box” was on Space Insurance Contracts. it was moderated by Pamela L. Meredith, Zuckert Scoutt & Rasenberger, LLP.

Jeff Cassidy, President and COO, Global Aerospace, was the first panelist to speak. He gave a brief overview of Global Aerospace and it’s functions. Next he spoke about specific insurance products that were available to satellite operators. He said that insurance coverage begins at launch and covers the satellite for a negotiated period of time.

Next, Sean Fleming, Senior Counsel, Echostar/Hughes Network Systems, spoke about Hughes and its involvement with space insurance, which is from the buyer side. He said that satellite operators buy insurance for a variety of reasons which is often required by investors, but he did note that some companies are self insurers. He stated that there was a variety of contractual obligations that govern risk allocation and what party is responsible for what risk.

John Cozzi, International Space Brokers, spoke next on what insurance brokers and risk management advisors do. He stated that the goal of these entities is to determine a risk profile for a given activity, which includes the full spectrum of risks. The result of this is defining a loss formula which then can be used to develop a policy, which can be taken to the insurance market.

Mark Quinn, Senior VP & Americas Practice Leader, Willis Inspace, was the final speaker. He stated that insurance companies in space activities will not underwrite the entire risk for a given activity due to the high monetary value of the policies. Instead, these activities will be covered by 15-20 different companies each of which is underwriting a portion of the risk. This involves the negotiation of contracts with terms between the underwriters and the insured.

The panel then discussed the various considerations that go into insurance company’s decision to insure, as well as issues related to final settlement in the case of a loss.