LAWS 3068 Space Law - Commercial Aspects

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 200652

Coordinator Steven Freeland Opens in new window

Description This subject examines the underlying legal principles that regulate the use, exploration and exploitation of space, and how International Law can and should be applied to the many different State and private commercial uses of outer space. It examines the existing international legal regime - the five United Nations Space Treaties and key Declarations of Principles related to space activities - as well as a number of domestic regulatory systems, including the Australian legal regime. The subject also concentrates on the (many) uses and proposed uses of space for which the legal framework may not be particularly well suited.

School Law

Discipline International Law

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) LAWS 2008

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the historical evolution of the existing legal regime regulating the use and exploration of space.
  2. Engage in critical discussion of specific problems arising from the readings and present oral arguments persuasively.
  3. Develop, refine and produce a research paper which demonstrates clear, well structured, appropriately referenced, critical and original analysis and arguments.
  4. Analyse and examine the details of the five international treaties and the various United Nations Principles which regulate certain activities in space.
  5. Understand the Australian legal framework regarding space activities.
  6. Critically consider the problems and ambiguities within the existing legal regime.
  7. Determine and analyse the legal issues raised by new uses of space for which the existing legal regime is ill-suited.
  8. Assess ways in which these unanswered legal issues should be addressed.

Subject Content

- what is The legal Definition of space?
- why do we need A legal regime for space?
- The role of UNCOPUOS (United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space).
- space Law and Air Law compared.
- The Space Treaties: Outer Space Treaty 1967; Rescue Agreement 1968; Liability Convention 1972; Registration Convention 1975; Moon Agreement 1979.
- United Nations Principles: Direct Broadcasting Principles 1982; Remote Sensing Principles 1986; Nuclear Power Principles 1992.
- Intergovernmental Organisations ? INTELSAT, INMARSAT, ITU, ESA.
- Telecommunications and The Geostationary Orbit.
- national regulation of launching activities.
- Space Activities Act 1998 (Cth).
- environment of space and The Problem of space Debris.
- The international space Station and space Tourism.
- Traffic control Issues and Coordination with The regulation of Air Travel.
- The Commercialisation and privatisation of Outer Space.
- financing and Insurance aspects of space activities.
- Exploitation of space Resources.
- The needs of developing countries.
- Military uses of Outer Space.
- Resolution of disputes in relation to Activities in Outer Space.
- future legal regulation of space Activities ? what needs to be done?


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Participation Ongoing 10 N Individual
Essay 2,000 words 45 N Individual
Final Exam 24 hours 45 N Individual

Structures that include subject