INTERVIEW: Dr. Stephen E. Doyle

November 12, 2007 at 10:44 am | Posted in Interview | 1 Comment

Stephen E. DoyleDr. Stephen E. Doyle, is a distinguished and long-time member of the community. Dr. Doyle has an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts in literature with a minor in history (’60). His law degree is from Duke University (’63). He did two years of postgraduate study at McGill University. Dr. Doyle was a law clerk for two summers for the late Andrew G. Haley, author of one of the world’s seminal space law texts, Space Law and Government(Appleman, Century, Croft, 1963). He created the first draft of that book and credit was given to him in the author’s preface. Dr. Doyle says that one of the things he has loved about his career is that he has seen where tomorrow is going to be different than today. In all the jobs he has had, he has never had the routine experience of ”do tomorrow what you did yesterday.”

Interview with Dr. Stephen Doyle, November 6, 2007:

Res Communis: How did you get into space law?

Doyle: In 1962 I was a student at Duke University and employed part time at the World Peace Through Law Center, headed by Professor Arthur Larson. A visiting scholar came to the Center to do a study on the implications of space for national security and for global security interests. He was Robert D. Crane. He came from the Center of Strategic Studies at Georgetown University. He started telling me about the importance of getting bright young people committed to getting involved in space and space law development. He had worked with Andrew Haley as an associate in his law firm. He set up an interview for me and Haley hired me as a summer law clerk. That is how I got into space law.

Res Communis: What was it like working on Haley’s book Space Law and Government?First, please explain what Space Law and Government is and then tell us about working on it.

Doyle: Space Law and Governmentis a compilation of more than 200 articles and papers that Andrew Haley had written from 1956 to 1962. He wanted me to digest all those papers and put them into a single book format. We agreed early on a list of chapter titles and my job was to cut and paste all the work he had done; add supplemental information wherever it was needed to bring the material to currency; and, present him with a draft of a book called Space Law and Government. When I left he had a manuscript of 600 pages. He wrote an introductory chapter, a new chapter one that I had no hand in, and he wrote some concluding material for the final chapter. That is how Space Law and Government was written.

Res Communis: That brings us to the project you are working on with the NCRSASL. The Center has some of Haley’s original papers. Your expertise and first hand knowledge is invaluable in helping us put together an archive that will be available to researchers. You have characterized this archive as the work product of world’s first space law practitioner. Please tell us a little bit about what this archive contains and why it is important.[Editor’s note: a formal anouncement and description of the archive will be released shortly. Stay tuned.)

Doyle: The archive represents the institutional records of the law firm of Haley, Bader, and Potts in Washington, D.C. It had been in continuous operation since the 1930s. Haley retired from a wartime appointment as president of the Aerojet Corporation, and in 1946 returned to Washington to practice law. He brought back a strong interest in space. He also had an abiding interest in international cooperation. He felt that as astronautics developed, international cooperation would be extremely important. Therefore he became involved in international exchanges with foreign lawyers; getting to know people in other countries; and finding ways to talk with them about astronautics and where it was going. In 1950 the French convened the first of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) astronautical congresses in Paris. The second was held in London in 1951. At that meeting Haley was invited to join the IAF organization team. Thereafter, he was active continually in the IAF. It eventually produced two suborganizations, the International Academy of Astronautics (the IAA) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL).

The archive that the Center has includes many communications, planning documents, and proposals that were generated and exchanged during the 1950s regarding the development, expansion, growth, and definition of the IAF, its roles, and the formation of the IAA and the IISL. Haley was chair of an international committee in which he had the responsibility to associate the IAF with the United Nations. By 1957, he established a formal liaison so that the IAF was an associate member of UNESCO. The history of that whole development is in the archives that the Center now holds.

It also includes a lot of the exchanges that took place from 1958 to 1960 that has to do with organizing the lawyers of the world into an associate group that could regularly exchange opinions and write papers and hear from one another on the development of space law. Haley was absolutely convinced that there was a significant role in international cooperative activity for non-governmental structures that could feed into governmental structures, and that would ultimately result in formal treaties and international agreements. He thought the exchange of information and the exchange of opinions by individuals in their own capacity would greatly facilitate and accelerate the development of formal law. He was dedicated to providing mechanisms for exchanges of information but not necessarily to make decisions. Haley talked very often about trying to get some of the organizations funded to do research, but that was never one of his real goals. His real goal was getting people to talk to one another, to learn from one another, and to provide suggestions for ways of solving the problems of managing activity in outer space. If you look at the book Space Law and Government you will find it is very much oriented toward stimulating international cooperation; recognizing its value; and, encouraging it. On almost every page there is a reference to international cooperation. That was his goal. Build consensus; work together peacefully; bring benefits of the astronautic world to the people; good will and harmony; that was what he was all about.

Res Communis: You moved from the public sector to the private sector in the early 1980s. Can you tell us about that?

Doyle: My career started in Washington, D.C. with the Federal Communications Commission, then after two and half years there I was invited to join the State Department staff, which I did. I was then loaned to the White House for six months, then they decided they wanted me permanently, so I was transferred to the White House staff in the Office of Telecommunications Policy for four years. When I went into the White House it was the Nixon Administration. Shortly after I got there, Mr. Nixon had resigned and Gerald Ford took over and Mr. Ford was still president when I was invited to go to NASA and become the deputy director of International Affairs. It was in the period of 1970 to 1974 that I was in the White House. I went to NASA from ’74 to ’78 as the Deputy Directory of the Office of International Affairs. Then I moved to the Congress of the United States Office of Technology Assessment. I was there from ’78 to ’81.

In 1981, I was married with five children, and needed a better salary so I chose to leave government after fifteen years of service. I was invited to join the staff of the Aerojet Corporation in California. I was the director of strategic planning for about six years; and then got into contract management and land use issues with the local government involving the corporation’s rocket testing and other issues. I retired from Aerojet after fifteen years of service. I then became involved in starting another company in 1996, where I have been involved since 1996.

Overall, my career is in three chunks: my fifteen years with the Federal Government were very exciting growth years in the development of space law. I had a hand in writing the first regulations at the FCC for domestic satellite communications. In the State Department I worked on direct broadcast satellites and with the United Nations outer space committee for about a decade. At NASA, I continued this work because the State Department kept calling me back to serve on U.S. delegations. Even after I left the government in 1981, I served on US delegations to international meetings if the ITU and the United Nations until 1990. I had a good, long career in the government for almost twenty-five years of serving in international negotiations of treaties, agreements and the principles concerning activities in space, which followed the treaties.

Res Communis: In the early 1990s you worked with the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), correct?

Doyle: I was hired as a consultant by the SETI Institute in California. I worked with Drs. Jill Tarter and John Billingham. Basically, I talked with them about legal implications of a future contact and what would have to be done; what institutions would need to be involved; what kind of institutional preparation would need to be done to make an ultimate contact as smooth, and as undisturbing, as unpanic-inducing, as possible. Their concern was if contact was made, they needed to have the right institutions prepared to understand what the appropriate course of action would be. We spent a lot of time brainstorming how the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the UN First Committee could be approached and to explain to the importance of keeping control on any contact so that the world at large would understand that it was a manageable event and not a catastrophe.

Res Communis: Tell us about the work you did for the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).

I worked with Jayantha Dhanapala, The Director of UNIDIR, who was seeking a book concerning security implications of the civil uses of outer space. It would be written with assistance of an international advisory group. Fifteen disarmament experts from 12 nations participated. The title is, Civil Space Systems: Implications for International Security (Dartmouth, UK, 1994). It was published by UNIDIR as one of a series of studies about disarmament. It basically concluded that expanding civil uses of space are stabilizing rather than threatening international security.

Res Communis: You just finished a study titled, “The Impact of Spaceflight and Space Exploration on Laws and Governmental Structures of the United States”.

Doyle: I did. I submitted it on October 31, 2007 to Dr. Steven Dick, the NASA Chief Historian. NASA is assessing the impact of spaceflight on the United States; including things like the economy; industry; medicine; information technologies; education; and the laws and governmental structures of the country. NASA asked a number of different people, experts in their particular areas, to write on the impact of spaceflight on their areas. I was asked to address laws and government, as part of a broader study that will bring together assessments of impacts in a number of areas. There might be a conference on impacts of spaceflight on the nation, or there might be a book. I don’t think the decision has been made yet.

Res Communis: What do think are the most important space law issues today?

Doyle: The patentability and control of patents having to do with inventions made in outer space. The U.S. law gives a patent to the entity that first reduces an idea to practice and around 1990, the law in the United States was amended to include inventions made in outer space. The U.S. extended its jurisdiction to outer space and said any U.S. citizen or anyone working on a U.S. spacecraft that produces an invention in outer space may patent it in the law of the United States. It is a unique law that has not been given a whole lot of attention. I think ultimately it will become an area where many foreign countries will also want to devote more attention.

Res Communis: We, Res Communis, have an entry on a bill pending in Congress right now, which, if passed, will change the U.S. from a “first to invent” rule to a “first to file rule” nation. If passed, it would be a fundamental change.

It would put the United States in step with Europe and most of the major developed countries of the world. We have historically had “first to invent,” that is, the first one to reduce an idea to a practice, record it, and produce evidence of the recordation gets the patent. The rest of the world pretty much says it’s the first one that submits the application to the patent office who gets the patent. That’s the “first to file.” The difference is, we will no longer ask “When did you invent this?” in order to determine the precedence of an invention, but “When did you first file it with the patent office?” That is when the date of primacy is going to be determined and that can make a big difference.

Res Communis: Is there anything that we may not have asked?

Doyle: In my opinion, there isn’t much in space law that you don’t have your thumb on and are aware of. I think there are still some questions that are going to continue to cause some aggravation having to do with the use of nuclear power sources in space; although I think we have quite conclusively demonstrated we can safely use nuclear power in space, particularly for space systems that are at substantial distances from the sun. There are those who in the environmental community who want to exclude the use of nuclear power sources off the Earth. It doesn’t make an awful lot of sense, but I think we are going to continue to have controversy. Every time there is talk about putting a radioactive power generation system on board a satellite system, it is going to raise complications and problems.

The other thing of which I am particularly aware is that there is an enormous competition occurring in the launch vehicles services and other space technology areas, with the addition of launches by Western Europe, Russia, Japan, India, and China. The United States has a body of law that emerged in the 1950s that says that the U.S. has to restrict the export of advanced technologies to keep other nations dependent on U.S. technology. It is called the International Traffic a in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The law keeps U.S. industry from exporting advanced technology. The assumption is, the U.S. is the only nation with smart people in the world; the only ones that can figure out how to do things; and in order to get advanced technology other nations are going to come to us to do it. I think it is a futile exercise, I think it is a dumb idea. I realize there may be some short term values and benefits from denying hostile foreign nations access to our technology, but in the long run you are giving people reason to develop the technology themselves, which they are entirely capable of doing; and, at that point they have nothing but a remaining bad taste in their mouths from how the U.S. refused to help them when it could have.

Res Communis: Well, I that brings us to the end. Stephen, this has been very enjoyable, we learned even more, and really appreciate your giving us the time to do this.

IAC 2010: E7.1. Nandasiri Jasentuliyana Keynote Lecture on Space Law & Young Scholars

September 28, 2010 at 2:02 am | Posted in Blogcast, Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The 53rd International Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space began this morning at the IAC 2010 with E7.1. Nandasiri Jasentuliyana Keynote Lecture on Space Law & Young Scholars. The session was chaired by Vladimir Kopal, West Bohemian University, Czech Republic and Tanja Masson-Zwaan, International Institute of Space Law, the Netherlands. Mark Sundahl, Cleveland State University, United States served as Rapporteur.

The first presentation and keynote lecture was “A Concise History of Space Law” by Stephen Doyle of the United States. Doyle began by stating that space law developed in four principle periods on development 1) 1910-1957 development of concepts; 2)1957-1966 establishment of basic principles; 3) the development of rules and regulations at the national level since 1957; and 4) the development of rules and regulations for extraterrestrial human settlements and activities, which is still in the conceptual phase. His presentation began with the history of space law traced back to a law journal article by Emile Laude published in 1910. From this point Doyle covered the major pre-1957 works on space law. He asserted the launch of Sputnik was a gmae changer for space law. After that launch, he noted, the involvement of the U.N. and the formation of the ad hoc committee on space and how this led to the negotiations on the space treaties and the principles that followed the space treaties. He said that UNCOPUOS is still the most important actor in the development of space law. Next, he gave a brief overview of other international organizations that create and contribute to space law. Doyle then moved to a discussion on national space legislation and its development. In order to illustrate this he did a case study of the space law development in the United States beginning with the NAS Act of 1958 and tracing it through present day. He stated that this foundation has allowed the development of international cooperation and can lead to a very bright future for space activities.

The next presenter was Vladimir Kopal who presented “The Life and Work of Professor Vladimmir Mandl – A Pioneer of Space Law.” Kopal stated that Mandl was the author of the world’s first comprehensive monograph on space law. Mandl was born on 1899 in what is now the Czech Republic. He was trained as a lawyer and opened his own legal office in Pilsen. He turned his legal expertise to legal problems caused by industrial and technological developments, which led him to examine aviation law issues, and he wrote the first Czech language monograph on the subject. According to Kopal, Mandl later became a pilot. His aviation monograph was presented in order to him to become a docent at the University of Prague. He later became interested on space and began researching these matters, and made his first publications based on this subject matter. Kopal stated that Mandl emphasized that adopting other legal systems, such as the law of the sea, wholesale would be inadequate for the regulation of outer space and that a new system must be developed. Kopal also noted that Mandl put forth the idea of no claims of sovereignty in outer space in his works. Kopal noted that he teaching activities were terminated with the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939. He died in 1941 at the age of 42. Kopal asserted that Mandl was the first person to approach the legal problems of spaceflight and work to develop a system to govern these issues.

Stephen Hobe, University of Cologne, gave a presentation titled “Vladimmir Mandl and Alex Meyer: Two Pioneers of Space Law.” Hobe said that his presentation was going to cover early German writings on space law. He reiterated the importance of Mandl’s German works to the field of space law, and how many of the principles that he put forth in his works are still being used today. Next, he covered Alex Meyer’s works on space law. He stated that Meyer was known as an aviation lawyer, but that he also did important research into space law. Meyer’s publications on space law began 5 years before the first spaceflight occurred. Meyer argued that the strict application of aviation law to space would be inadequate. Meyer also acknowledged the possibility of space to be used as an arena for armed conflict, and he endorsed a ba on the use of force in space.

Next, the student and young scholar presentations began. The first was from Phillip de Mann, Catholic University of Louvain, on “The Commercial Exploitation of Outer Space and Celestial Bodies – A Functional Solution to the Natural Resources Challenge.” He made a distinction between the legal regime in the exploitation of resources of celestial bodies and the exploitation of other resources in space (e.g. radio frequencies). He started with the celestial body concept, by stating that one must first grapple with what constitutes a celestial body, and that a functional approach to this definition is the most tenable in which the concept is defined by “virtue of of activities regulated.” Next, he moved to the non-appropriation provisions of the Outer Space Treaty. He argued that this provision should not be applicable to natural resources in space. He then argued that this is confirmed by the Moon Agreement which allows the appropriation of Celestial bodies. He then moved to definitions of natural resources and how the definition affects the legal regime, and how scarcity criteria should be applied in working on the management of resources.

The next presentation was by Mariam Yuzbashyan, excalibur Almaz Ltd, on “Potential Uniform International Legal Framework for Regulation of Private Space Activities.” She stated that current space activities are effected by globalization and commercialization. She argued that many aspects of private activities needed particularized regulations, but that a comprehensive regulation was still desirable. She suggested the development of International Space Private Law (ISPL). She said that ISPL had to be defined by its legal sources such as the Cape Town Convention, national space legislation, ISS IGA, and space law cases and arbitration practices.

“You Can Lead an Astronaut to Water . . . : Prospects for Legal Use and Water Rights on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies” was presented by Joshua Easterson of the United States. Easterson set his presentation up in light of the recently discovered evidence of water on the Moon. He stated that terrestrially rights are usually apportioned via riparian rights or usage rights. He stated that unique characteristics of space water rights in space will be apportioned in a much different manner. He highlighted the importance on non-appropriation clauses and stated that this provision precluded usual appropriation of water rights as are done terrestrially. He then moved to analogies in international law such as the law of the sea, antarctic law, international commission on whales, and international water treaties. He stated that one of the best analogies is the ITU model used for radiocommunications. He then proposed the development of a new Moon treaty that sets forth a operational regime.

Next, the panel heard from Masatoshi Fukunaga, Keio University, on “Current Status and Recent Developments of Non-discriminatory Principle in the 1986 UN Principles on Remote Sensing.” Fukunaga focused on Principle 12 of the Principles on remote sensing. He presentation discussed how states have dealt with this principle. He stated that principle 12 governed access to data by sensed states. Next he moved to a case study of India to illustrate how the state has worked with this principle. He turned to the remote sensing policy of India that sets for non-discriminatory access for imagery up to 5.8 meters to all states. Next he spoke briefly on CEOS. He said the CEOS’ data policy and stated that it is similar to the Indian policy. He concluded by stating that the policy was still alive and viable, that it still has influence on relevant issues, and that its objective has changed from being sensed State oriented to being applied to more than just sensed States

Eduard van Asten, The Netherlands, presented “Legal Pluralism in Outer Space.” His presentation was on the regulation of pirate actors permanently located in Outer Space. He began by discussing the QUID, a space monetary system, put forth by Travelex in 2007. He used this as an example of how private actors might begin to regulate themselves. In a similar way he discussed the ISS IGA and national laws that apply to space actors, which illustrate the numerous sources for regulation of private actors.. He stated that there were numerous legal complications with these private actors that include the lack of sovereignty, inefficiency of jurisdiction, enforcement problems, variety of national laws, applicability of national laws, and private interests. He then began to discuss the theory of legal pluralism, which he summarized as the means by which a population observes more than one body of law. He said that these problems will lead to future normative development that will most likely develop in a legally pluralistic manner.

“Space and Lisbon – A New Type of Competence to Shape the Regulatory Framework for Commercial Space Activities” was presented by Matxalen Sanchez Aranzamendi, European Space Policy Institute. She began by noting that space activities are wider than just exploration activities. She stated that downstream services are very important to economic growth and that these areas should not be forgotten when space legislation is being developed. Next she discussed particular regulatory areas that affect these downstream services such as data regulation, telecommunications regulations, and export controls. She argued that in these regulatory areas there are converging competencies from different regulatory bodies. She then moved to the idea of space competence in the EU under the Lisbon Treaty and asserted that it was an effective way to organize the regulatory body in this area.

Michael Mineiro, McGill University, presented “Beyond the Looking Glass: The Application of Public Choice Theory to U.S. Commercial Communication Satellite Export Controls.” Mineiro presented a case study of public choice theory as applied to ITAR controls on communications satellites in in the United States. He then gave an overview of public choice theory as an economic modeling system that explains human behavior. He said under this theory behavior should be skewed in favor of exporters, but in reality that wasn’t happening. He, therefore, argued that the theory must be recalibrated in order to understand why the system was working the way that it does. He then stated that even after using a a recalibrated-cost theory the benefits are declining due to the development of technologies in other areas around the world. He then turned to other theories that can help to explain what is wrong with the system.

Next, Michael Chatzipanagiotis of Greece gave a presentation titled “Forum Selection Clauses in Suborbital Space Tourism Contracts and EC Law.” He started by stating that forum selection clauses are contract provisions in order allocate jurisdiction to particular courts. These are used by companies to stay out of unfavorable venues as well as to avoid multiple litigations in various jurisdictions. In order to be valid there must be consensus, a statement of objective factors, and reference to a particular legal relationship. He stated that the Brussels Convention and regulation set out what courts must do when presented with litigation wherein a forum selection clause is at issue. He stated that transportation contracts are not governed by the brussels convention. He stated that its unclear as to whether space tourism represents a transportation contract. It these contracts aren’t transportation contracts then they are governed as a commercial contract.

Finally, Guillermo Duberti, Universidad de Belgrano, presented “Re-thinking Responsibility in the Law of Outer Space.” Duberti stated that international law is dynamic and constantly changing and that law is following technological advances instead of preceding them. He stated that there was a conflict between general international law and space law. He says that this is because of the innovation of article VI. He stated that

IISL Press Releases

May 27, 2010 at 8:53 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The IISL has issued two press releases. The first commemorates the 50th anniversary of the IISL:

Press release IISL 2010-001: The IISL at fifty
26 May 2010

In 2010 the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) celebrates its fiftieth anniversary as the single-most authoritative international body on the law pertaining to outer space and space activities. Following a meeting of the organising committee in Paris in May 1960, the Statutes of the IISL were drafted and formally approved by the International Astronautical Foundation (IAF) on 15 August 1960. In 2007, the IISL became an independent organisation based in the Netherlands.

To celebrate this anniversary, firstly IISL has already co-organised a conference on �Space Law and Policy� in Washington, D.C., on 11 May 2010.

Secondly, during the forthcoming International Astronautical Conference, held in Prague between 27 September-1 October 2010, the IISL will organise a special session as part of its annual Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space. The �Nandasiri Jasentuliyana Keynote Lecture on Space Law� will this year consist of three lectures focusing on the history of space law, the IISL and two of the very early pioneers, Prof. V. Mandl and Prof. A. Meyer. These lectures will be delivered by Dr. S. Doyle, Prof. V. Kopal and Prof. S. Hobe of the Board of Directors of the IISL. It will be followed, as always, by the �Young Scholars Session�, under the chairmanship of Prof. V. Kopal and IISL President Mrs. T.L. Masson-Zwaan.

Thirdly, the IISL will also republish the 1972 book by Judge Lachs on �The law of outer space, an experience in contemporary law-making�. Judge Lachs was President of the IISL from 1990 to 1993, and President of the International Court of Justice from 1973 to 1976, having served on the Court from 1967 until his death in 1993. He also served as the first Chairman of the Legal Subcommittee of the UNCOPUOS from 1962 to 1966. His excellent 1972 book on space law has been out of print for years but is still used extensively by all generations of space lawyers. This new edition will be accompanied by an introduction by the IISL Directorate of Studies and a preface by the IISL President.

Lastly, a booklet on the IAA-IISL Roundtables, celebrating also the 25th Anniversary of the Roundtable, will be prepared in cooperation with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

The second makes note of the recent conference co-hosted by the IISL in Washington, D.C.:

Press release IISL 2010-002: Space Law and Policy
27 May 2010

As part of the celebrations of its fiftieth anniversary, the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) organised together with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) (which also celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2010), the 1st IAA-IISL conference on �Space Law and Policy� in Washington, D.C., on 11 May 2010. The other partners in organising this high-level joint event were Arianespace Inc., Secure World Foundation (SWF) and the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) from Vienna. The event was held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Building, and attended by more than 100 persons.

The goal of this event was to highlight the relevance of current space law issues to US policymakers, and their impact on US civil, commercial, and government activities in space. Speakers at this event also addressed the development of the international legal regime for space, provided US as well as European and Trans-Atlantic perspectives and evaluated whether the current regime is sufficient in view of ongoing developments in the space sector.

The programme consisted of sessions on the Commercial Space Legal Perspective (�What are the top three biggest legal challenges for the US space Industry?�), International Aspects (�How do you view the development of the international legal regime for space and is it sufficient?�) and the US Government perspective (�Space Law in Government Daily Life � Successes and Failures�). Key-note speeches were given by Richard DalBello, Vice President, Legal and Government Affairs, Intelsat General; Ambassador Ciro Ar�valo, Chair, United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space; and Lori Garver, Deputy Administrator, NASA.

More information about the event can be obtained by visiting

GWU and Georgetown Place 1st and 2nd in North American Regional Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition

April 12, 2010 at 10:30 am | Posted in Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

The North American round of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition was held at Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C. on Saturday April10, 2010. This year, the top two teams were George Washington University and  Georgetown. Georgetown was also awarded the F. Kenneth Schwetje Best Oralist Award and George Washington University was also awarded the Best Brief Award.

Competitors were from the United States and Canada also included Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law, Dayton, Florida State, Howard University, McGill University, University of Mississippi, University of Nebraska, and, Rutgers.

2010 Organizer: Milton L. “Skip” Smith

2010 Memorial/Brief Judges: S. Trepczynski, S. Doyle, R. Jarman, D. Rinehart, W. Wirin, and J. Spradling

2010 Oral Argument Judges: Dennis Burnett, Kevin McCreary, Laura Montgomery, George Robinson, Bob Stephens, Bob Youmans, Jay Steptoe, Marcia Smith, James Rendleman, Maria-Vittoria “Giugi” Carminati, and Jim Dunstan.

2010 Final Standings (Rank Order): 1. George Washington University; 2. Georgetown; 3. Dayton; 4. Howard University; 5. Florida State; 6. Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law.; 7. University of Mississippi; 8. McGill University; 9. University of Nebraska; 10. Rutgers University.

U.S. Commercial Remote Sensing Satellite Demand “Not Sufficient” For Stable Workforce

March 5, 2010 at 9:18 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty


Written by Laura M. Delgado

As part of a panel discussion devoted to the health of the global aerospace industrial base, Fred Doyle, Vice President of Ball Aerospace, told the International Commercial Remote Sensing Symposium (ICRSS) Thursday that companies have to “balance labor demands” in order to avoid workforce gaps and that current demand for commercial remote sensing satellites is “not sufficient to maintain [a] stable workforce.”

Doyle showed a graph illustrating the labor demand during the multi-year process of design, integration, and testing required to build one of their commercial remote sensing satellites, such as Worldview 1 or Worldview 2.  Noticeable in the chart was a marked reduction in demand during project transition, one that Doyle said could be as long as four years for designers.  Ball Aerospace has managed to retain workers by assigning them to other programs, but Doyle said the company recognizes that workforce sustainability is an issue.

Explaining that a “stable industrial base requires a mix of commercial and government orders,” he nevertheless cautioned that long-troubled government programs like the Space Based Infrared Satellite System (SBIRS) and the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) become major obstacles because they “suck up” the government’s discretionary funds that might otherwise go to new programs.  When money is diverted towards these big, long-term projects, there is little likelihood that the government will fund new, smaller, startup programs, he said.

Doyle expressed hope in a brighter future.  Emerging market changes include the Obama Administration’s FY2011 budget proposal that envisions more earth observation satellites, promised revision of International Trade in Arms Regulation (ITAR) restrictions, and a recognition of commercial imagery as an element of the U.S. government’s national imagery architecture.  “Government decisions will continue to drive the commercial viability of the industry,” he concluded, since commercial demand “does not support a stand-alone industrial base.”

Speaking more broadly about the worldwide earth observation satellite market, Dr. Reinold Lutz, Managing Director of Astrium, a subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), said that there is stable, growing activity in Europe. Astrium estimates worldwide demand for commercial and dual-use Earth observation satellites will double in the next decade, from 50 to more than 100.  He added that Astrium’s workforce actually grew 9% in 2008 and 4% in 2009. However, much of this activity is focused on government programs such as the €12 billion German High Tech Initiative.  Additionally, approximately 75% of Astrium’s business is for the European Space Agency.

U.S. May Monitor Pirates From Space

April 30, 2009 at 11:49 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: AviationWeek



The U.S. is exploring the use of commercial satellites to enhance ship identification and communication for the battle against piracy.

Long before the U.S.-flagged container ship Maersk Alabama was attacked by Somali pirates this month, a sister vessel, the Maersk Iowa, was plying the sea lanes between the U.S. East Coast and the Indian Ocean, testing a device that combines the information obtained from shipboard radar and identification transponders to give authorities a better overview of who is on the water and what they are up to.

Now, the U.S. Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness wants to leverage that data fusion technology to create a spaced-based collaboration for International Global Maritime Awareness. Guy Thomas, the office’s science and technology adviser, envisions a networked information system using commercial satellites to transmit a common operating picture to authorities, allowing them to monitor large ocean areas.

Thomas, a former Navy signals intelligence officer working for the interagency maritime situational awareness office, thinks navigational radar and other sensor data from thousands of merchant ships—enhanced by commercial satellites rapidly relaying the information to authorities—could help overcome the challenge of monitoring the vast maritime domain.

Using existing commercial satellite technology, such as synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and electro-optical and infrared imaging, could provide all-weather night-and-day surveillance, even in heavy cloud cover. The satellites and shipboard sensors would complement each other, either calling attention to anomalies or checking and verifying them. The time it takes to download information from a satellite could be as little as 5 min., says Thomas. The information would be made available to authorities in an unclassified format. L-band radar, less detailed but also less expensive, would be adequate to detect the wake of ships at sea from space, he asserts.

Probably the greatest obstacle facing the warships from more than a dozen nations patrolling the pirate-infested waters between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea is that the area “is just vast, more than a million square miles,” says Gordan Van Hook, the director of innovation and concept development for the U.S.-based Maersk Line Ltd. According to U.S. Central Command, 33,000 ships passed through the Gulf of Aden in 2008. The same year, 122 piracy events occurred, with 42 successful and 80 unsuccessful.

International maritime regulations require commercial ships weighing more than 300 tons to carry an Automated Information System. Initially intended as an anti-collision device, the AIS is similar to the transponders that FAA regulations require on civil aircraft. Broadcasting on VHF radio, it divulges a ship’s identification number, navigation status, speed and course heading every 2-10 sec. Name, cargo, size, destination and estimated time of arrival are broadcast about every 6 min. Other vessels with AIS in range constantly receive those data. However, each vessel is its own information bubble, says Van Hook, and cannot share data about other ships it encounters with authorities when more than 50 mi. from shore.

In a test project funded by the Transportation Dept., Lockheed Martin put a prototype data fusion system, known as Neptune, on Maersk cargo vessels, starting with the Maersk Iowa in 2006. Neptune took the information obtained by the ship’s radar, which has a radius of about 20 mi., and combined it with data from passing ships received through its AIS. The information was sent via an Inmarsat satellite to a Lockheed Martin fusion center in Eagan, Minn., says Van Hook.

Conceivably the information could one day be relayed to a regional or international maritime operations center. Lockheed Martin’s Maritime Systems and Sensors unit eventually put the laptop-size Neptune device on four Maersk vessels, but not the Maersk Alabama. Around the same time, Thomas was working with the Naval Research Laboratory on a similar data fusion device.

Last year, a Canadian company, COM DEV International Ltd., launched a test satellite with AIS data-collecting technology, and plans to put more in orbit.

Thomas says a regional entity such as NATO, or an international one such as the U.N., needs to create a coordinating office to manage the satellite-data dissemination. But so far, that hasn’t happened.

His presentation at international maritime conferences in Canada, Chile, France and Brazil have been well received. “Each time people have said, ‘We need to do something like this.’ But nobody has stepped forward to take a leadership role.” However, that was before the pirate incidents on the Somali coast grabbed headlines, he notes.


Georgetown University and University of Mississippi Place 1st and 2nd in North American Regional Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition

April 6, 2009 at 9:24 am | Posted in Space Law Current Events | 1 Comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

The North American round of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition was held at Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C. on Saturday April 4, 2009. This year, the top two teams were separated by less than a single point (.380952, to be exact!). Georgetown was also awarded the F. Kenneth Schwetje Best Oralist Award and the University of Mississippi was also awarded the Best Brief Award

Competitors were from the United States and Canada and included McGill University, the University of Nebraska, George Mason University, Georgetown, the University of Virginia, Catholic Univeristy, and the Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law.

2009 Organizer: Milton L. “Skip” Smith

2009 Memorial/Brief Judges: Carl Q. Christol, Stephen Doyle, Robert W. Jarman, Jim Rendleman, Dean Rinehart, William Wirin

2009 Oral Argument Judges: Dennis Burnett, Sally Clark, John Gantt, Carol Hattrup, Corrine Jorgenson, Kevin McCreary, Laura Montgomery, George Robinson, Bob Stephens, Bob Youmans

2009 Final Standings (Rank Order): 1. Georgetown; 2. University of Mississippi; 3. Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law.; 4. George Mason University; 5. University of Virginia, 6. McGill University; 7. University of Nebraska; 8. Catholic University.



Archiving of Historic Papers Uncovers Signatures of Presidents, Author, Politicians

March 23, 2009 at 10:46 am | Posted in NCRSASL News | Leave a comment

NCRSASL Logoby P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From the University of Mississippi Newsdesk:

Archiving of Historic Papers Uncovers Signatures of Presidents, Author, Politicians
Written by Jennifer Farish

OXFORD, Miss. – A project at the University of Mississippi to archive the professional papers of the late Andrew G. Haley, considered the world’s first space law practitioner, has uncovered some notable correspondence from U.S. presidents, a famous science fiction writer and well-known international politicians.

Michael Dodge, who graduated from the UM School of Law in May 2008 with a Certificate in Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law, works as an assistant research counsel with the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law at the law school. This past fall, he began organizing the boxes of Haley’s papers for archiving and creating an online finding aid for researchers.

He came across signatures from famous people such as John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford and science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke. “It was exciting to discover all of the correspondence dating back decades dealing with space law,” Dodge said.

The 42 boxes of files include the late attorney’s personal, space-related correspondence and files, which were donated by his son Andrew Jr. to the late Stephen Gorove, after Haley’s death in 1966. Gorove, who taught at the UM law school from 1965 to 1988, was also among the first attorneys to tackle the issues of space law.

“The papers are a remarkable contribution to the history of space law and are in pristine condition,” said Joanne Gabrynowicz, the center’s director. “The center was fortunate to be able to bring in Dr. Stephen Doyle, who was Haley’s law clerk in the 1960s, to help establish the provenance and organization of the collection. The archive is a valuable asset for space lawyers and Cold War historians alike.”

The papers are available for searching online by visiting: Their availability to the public is expected to be valuable to historians, legal researchers and scholars interested in the history of both national and international space law.

Among the many notable papers in the collection is a 1956 letter from Clarke detailing his ideas on how communications and other satellites would be used in the future.

“It’s amazing because so much of what we consider real science today was projected by Clarke years before the actual technology existed,” said Michelle Aten, the center’s assistant director. “He was thinking about the idea of geosynchronous orbits long before the first satellite was launched.”

Geosynchronous orbits enable communications satellites to remain in orbit over the same location on Earth constantly and are sometimes referred to as Clarke orbits because of his proposal of the idea.

In the letter to Haley, Clarke states that his interests lie along the lines of space-based satellite relays. The letter goes on to discuss the future of space-based systems predicting worldwide person-to-person radio communication, direct broadcasting and a position-finding system. Interestingly, Clarke closes the letter by saying, “I’ll get on with my science fiction and wait to say I told you so.”

The Haley papers also include numerous international letters such as documents from the Cold War era. One particular letter from the then-president of the International Institute on Space Law, who was Bulgarian, centers on the fact that he had been accused of spying for the United States. He was later arrested and executed. Other letters deal with the actual founding of the IISL and the American Bar Association’s acknowledgement of space law as a critical field of legal study.

For more information about the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law, visit .

Haley Archive Find: Chief Justice Earl Warren and Andrew G. Haley Correspondence (1961): U.S. Supreme Court Building Unavailable for International Astronautical Federation Annual Congress

November 11, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Posted in Haley Archive | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Andrew G. Haley

Andrew G. Haley

Chief Justice Earl Warren

Chief Justice Earl Warren


Andrew G. Haley was the author of one of the world’s seminal space law texts, Space Law and Government (Appleton-Century-Crofts1963). He is widely considered the world’s first space lawyer. Some of Haley’s papers were given to the late Stephen Gorove, upon whose work the NCRSASL was based. The Center is now processing these papers as the Andrew G. Haley Archive which will be made available to researchers. From time to time, the Center makes available interesting individual documents as they are discovered.

This document is from Haley to Chief Justice Earl Warren with a request to use the Supreme Court Building as a venue for the Annual Congress of the International Astronautical Federation. This document is a letter from Chief Justice Earl Warren in response. 


Haley Archive: Arthur C. Clarke August 1956 Letter on GPS, DBS, and more…

March 27, 2008 at 7:36 am | Posted in Haley Archive | 1 Comment

By Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Andrew G. Haley was the author of one of the world’s seminal space law texts, Space Law and Government (Appleman, Century, Croft, 1963). Some of his papers were given to the late Stephen Gorove, upon whose work the NCRSASL was based. The Center is now processing these papers as the Andrew G. Haley Archive to be made available to researchers. The letter below was written by Clarke to Haley in 1956 and was discovered this week during the continued processing of Haley’s papers. Given the recent passing of Arthur C. Clarke, the Center decided that this letter will be of particular interest to the space community at this time. Therefore, we are making it availbale through Res Communis at this time.
Click on Thumbnail to Read

Clarke Letter 1Clarke Letter 2

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