Keeping Up With The Neighbours? Reviewing National Space Laws to Account For New Technology - The Australian and Canadian Experience

14 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2019

See all articles by Steven Freeland

Steven Freeland

Western Sydney University, School of Law

Ram S. Jakhu

McGill University - Institute of Air and Space Law

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

The development of space-related technology since the dawn of the space age in 1957 has given rise to many new and exciting possibilities. It has also meant that space activities continue to evolve, facilitating the participation of a variety of space ‘actors’ other than States. Given the international responsibility of States for ‘national activities in outer space’ under both customary international law and the Outer Space Treaty, there is an imperative for States to enact relevant and contemporary national space law to regulate those non-governmental space actors within their respective jurisdiction. But enacting national space law is not enough – as the paradigm of space-related technology changes and evolves, it is clear that such shifts require the ongoing review of appropriate national regulatory standards over relatively short timeframes. National legislatures have to come to grips with the ever-changing range of space technology, particularly if they wish to become increasingly involved in space activities. Whatever rules are put in place during the review process must find the right balance between, on the one hand, the need for regulation of the economic and technical elements, so as to minimise the risks to an acceptable level, and the facilitation of research and innovation to allow for greater and more efficient access to space, and the potential for commercial returns, on the other. This paper will describe this process of review and rejuvenation of existing national space laws in both Australia and Canada, outlining the relevant factors that were taken into account in order to maximise the utility of the regulations to meet the specific goals and requirements within each country.

Suggested Citation

Freeland, Steven and Jakhu, Ram S., Keeping Up With The Neighbours? Reviewing National Space Laws to Account For New Technology - The Australian and Canadian Experience (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3351501 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3351501

Steven Freeland (Contact Author)

Western Sydney University, School of Law ( email )

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith, NSW 2751
Australia

Ram S. Jakhu

McGill University - Institute of Air and Space Law ( email )

3690, Peel Street,
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1W9
Canada

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