Findings of an Independent Review of Canada's Remote Sensing Space Systems Act of 2005
Annals of Air and Space Law, Vol. XXXVII, p. 399, 2012
24 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2014
Date Written: 2012
The Remote Sensing Space Systems Act was enacted in 2005 to regulate the operation of Canadian remote sensing space systems and the distribution of data collected by such systems. The Act and the Regulations subsequently adopted thereunder both entered into force on April 5, 2007. Pursuant to section 45.1 of the Act, a 3-member team from McGill University's Institute of Air and Space Law - the authors of this article - was engaged to conduct an independent review of the provisions and operation of the Act. This article presents the findings and recommendations of the independent review covering the first five years of operation of the Act. In accordance with the mandate of the review, this article strictly focuses on the impact of the provisions and operation of the Act on: (1) technological development; and, (2) the implementation of Canada's international agreements and treaties. The main findings of the review are as follows: (1) Although the Act and the Regulations are not perfect, they nevertheless address some very important issues that need to be taken into account when conducting satellite remote sensing activities; (2) The impact of the Act and Regulations on technological development is mixed; (3) The Act and the Regulations are extremely helpful in facilitating compliance with Canada's international agreements and treaties; and, (4) There is a general lack of clarity as to the scope of application of the Act and Regulations. In line with the foregoing findings, this article proposes a handful of carefully considered recommendations aimed at improving the operational efficiency of the Act and the Regulations.
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