London ISPL: Evidence from Space: Workshop

October 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Source – London Institute of Space Policy and Law:

Evidence from Space: Workshop

A Workshop was held on Tuesday, 5 October as part of the Study for the European Space Agency exploring the evidential value and conditions for use of satellite-derived information in administrative and judicial settings.

Delegates were given a briefing document shortly before the workshop, laying out the areas to be covered and summarising some of the issues that were likely to arise.

The program began with an explanation of the aims of the study, followed by a presentation on the nature of legal evidence. The capabilities of satellite systems were discussed, in areas including land motion measurement, pollution and oil spill. Next, papers were presented on cases in which satellite-derived information has been used, including agricultural subsidy claims. A summary of evidential law in a variety of jurisdictions was then covered, highlighting similarities and differences in admissibility and standards of proof.

The results of a study on the use of satellite information in Australia were presented.

Two case studies were then presented. The first took a form similar to a moot. Details of a hypothetical land subsidence dispute were described and the presenters took the position of plaintiff’s advocates, with the participants acting as judges and lawyers for the defendant. The second case involved a hypothetical oil spill, with participants acting as lawyers advising the various parties involved.

There followed a panel discussion with questions, answers and debate from the floor. Issues identified during the day were discussed, and areas requiring further study were touched upon.

A number of issues arose in relation to the collection, collation and processing of satellite-derived information, how it could be adapted to meet specific needs, and how to overcome limitations so as to facilitate its greater use as evidence.

88 high-level legal, administrative and technical experts took part in the Workshop. The dialogue was documented by a large number of technical and legal rapporteurs, as well as an audio recording. These will be combined with the records of the Study Team to produce Proceedings of the Workshop in the near future.

The Institute’s Study Team will carry out further research and dialogue before preparing a report on its findings, to be presented early next year.

Go to the event page for other materials from the workshop,

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