About the ECSL NPOC Austria

The NPOC Space Law Austria aims at the promotion and development of space law in Austria.

The NPOC Space Law Austria is coordinated by Irmgard Marboe, Professor of International Law at the Department of European, International and Comparative Law of the University of Vienna. It is supported by the University of Vienna and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK). At various universies in Austria, Subpoints of Contacts are established which are active to pursue the same objectives.
The NPOC Space Law Austria was set up at the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna in November 2008. Before that, it was situated at the University of Graz where it had been founded by Christian Brünner, Professor emeritus of Austrian Public Law, in 2001.

Some of the main goals are:

• to enhance education in space law and to encourage students and young professionals to study space law and to take part in space law-related events;
• to increase awareness of the importance of space law as a dynamic and relevant field of law for the future with its numerous challenges related to climate change, resource utililsation, and militarisation of outer space;
• to strengthen European cooperation in the area of space activities by raising awareness of the important roles of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union (EU) in which Austria is a member since 1987 and 1995 respectively;
• to inform about the international dimension of space law based on the five UN Treaties on Outer Space and annually discussed at the sessions of the UN Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) in Vienna.

Since the legal framework of activities in outer space needs to reflects technical requirements, societal needs, as well as geo-political realities, an interdisciplinary approach is generally pursued.

Austria has a long tradition in the area of outer space law and policy. Between 1962 and 1996 the chair of the UN Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) was always an Austrian diplomat. Since 1993, UNCOPUOS and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee, hold their annual sessions in Vienna. In addition, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is situated here. Moreover, the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) was founded in cooperation of ESA and Austria in 2002 with its seat in Vienna.