Kein Wilder Westen - Ein Einblick in die Grundlagen des Weltraumrechts

May 10, 2023 | 6 - 8 p.m. | Lecture Hall VII, Main Building University of Bonn

Third event of the lecture series "Reaching for the Stars. Space as an Economic, Living and Competitive Space in the 21st Century" (Summer Semester 2023) with Dr. Christoph Beischl.

The media always like to talk about space as the Wild West. Despite problematic activities of some state and private actors, this does not correspond to reality. As early as 1967, the so-called "Outer Space Treaty" established an international legal framework for human space activities, followed by several supplementary treaties. Furthermore, some states, such as the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, have adopted national space laws. In addition, numerous other non-binding, but nevertheless often influential in practice, norms and codes of conduct exist.

In this context, this lecture first briefly outlines the historical development of space law and the most important institutions in this context, in particular the role of the "United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space".

In the following, the lecture gives an insight into the basics of space law in a simple and descriptive way. It deals in particular with the aforementioned "Outer Space Treaty". Answers will be given, among other things, to what extent states can exercise sovereign rights over the moon and other celestial bodies, military activities are permitted, private actors, such as Elon Musk's SpaceX company, can operate, and astronauts enjoy special legal protection.

The presentation will also introduce key issues in current discussions of space law and its evolution. This includes, for example, the creation of a space traffic management system, resource mining in space, space tourism, the handling of space debris, and the question of where space actually begins, which remains unresolved in international law.

VA 10.05 Kein Wilder Westen - Ein Einblick in die Grundlagen des Weltraumrechts


Opening Remarks:

Dr. Enrico Fels
Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies, University of Bonn


Dr. Christoph Beischl
Associate Deputy Director, London Institute of Space Policy and Law


Arne Sönnichsen
Coordinator of the SichTRaum Research Network

In close cooperation of

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