Space legislation, space resources and more: A report on the 2021 ECSL Summer Course
Seven students from Austrian universities were selected by the ECSL to take part in this year's course. Two students from the University of Vienna report on the Course for Austria in Space.
Various lectures on space law areas
The European Centre for Space Law and Policy (ESCL) organized an extensive week with lectures from well recognized professors and practitioners in space law and policy. The subjects ranged from fundamental topics including, for instance, the examination of national space legislation by Professor Stephan Hobe to contemporary space law issues such as the possible exploitation of space resources by Ms. Dorota Englender. Particularly impressive was the talk "Spaceflight and Environment" held by Mr. Alexander Soucek, Head of the Public International Law Division at ESA and former president of the Austrian Space Forum, in which he touched on how the exploration of Outer Space plays a significant role in tackling the issue of climate change. In this regard he mentioned the possibility of monitoring the natural environment, assessing resources and the human footprint in order to help to deploy mitigation measures. Furthermore, lectures were also given by Dr. Marco Ferrazzani about the legal regime on the Moon, Ms. Jenni Tapio with an in-depth analysis of the Finish Space Act and Professor Philippe Achilleas regarding telecommunications satellites.
Breakout sessions and student presentations
After the lectures were delivered, we got to further engage in the topics during breakout sessions. These sessions allowed the students to actively discuss current issues of Outer Space law and policy, such as potential shortcomings of the space treaties and the feasibility of living on the moon and exploiting its resources. Guided by competent tutors, the students were encouraged to voice their own opinions on these matters. The ECSL Summer Course also featured presentations made by the students. Each student was assigned a different article to present, either from one of the five space treaties or from a non-legally binding instrument related to Outer Space. Despite not being conducted as an in-person event, the ECSL Summer Course still was a highly enjoyable experience for us. Apart from gaining insights into a broad range of spacerelated topics, we also got to know other aspiring space law and policy experts who we are looking forward to meeting in future events.