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Institute of Air and Space Law

McGill University's Institute of Air and Space Law has a rich history of education, public service and scholarship. Its loyal graduates today serve in some of the highest legal positions in the bar, the industry, and governmental institutions in some 120 nations around the world. Read more...

September 10-2, 2015 - McGill Centre for Research in Air and Space Law International Expert Roundtable

Given the increase in the number of nations and non-State actors becoming active in space, and the increased reliance militaries have on space technologies, concerns have grown in recent years that there may be a risk of conflict taking place in space.

There is an urgent need to clarify the rules of international law applicable, especially the prohibition on the use of force and international humanitarian law. Given that no specific international legal instrument exists that effectively deals with this, McGill gathered scholars, government and space operations experts from seven different countries, including Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region, and members of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

There was a clear consensus on the urgent need to develop a Manual on international law applicable to security activities in outer space, in order to reduce the risk of conflict and constrain State behaviour in the case of a conflict.

Such an international Manual might be developed, under the leadership of  the CRASL,  by scholars and international experts in their individual capacity, free from official State positions, in order to ensure international participation, neutrality and legal objectivity. State engagement would be a part of the process at a later stage; however, clarification on international law cannot be dependent upon the politics of any given moment.

Hosting this Expert Roundtable, and working towards an international Manual on international law applicable to security activities in outer space, are in line with the commitment the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law has to uphold the core principles of the outer space treaty: that all outer space activities must occur in accordance with international law (including the UN Charter),  in the interests of international peace and security and for the benefit of all countries.

We look forward to the unfolding of this important project which will have global impact – and beyond.

International Conference on New Challenges in Space Law

August 28-29, 2015 - Athens, Greece

This conference's main topics were: Rationale and scope of the space treaties • Challenges to the rescue agreement and the liability convention • Challenges to the registration convention • Challenges to the space treaties resulting from new activities • The space treaties and environmental issues • Space exploration and exploitation # 1: the moon and the other celestial bodies • Space exploration and exploitation # 2: the interaction with other legal regimes • Where and how should international space law be made.

Left to right: Dr. Tare Brisibe, Prof. Paul Dempsey, Prof. Ram Jakhu, Dr. George Kyriakopoulos, and Prof. Steven Freeland at the last session, which dealt with Considerations for de lege ferenda.

We thank all the participants for coming!

Find out more about the program, the fees, the speakers and more by visiting the Conference's website.

Great news! Our books can now be purchased online!

We are pleased to announce that publications of the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, including the latest volumes of the Annals of Air and Space Law, are now available for purchase online. In cooperation with the McGill Bookstore, these publications can be purchased and delivered to you promptly all with a few clicks of the button. 

Older volumes of the Annals will gradually also be made available for purchase online. Over the coming period, the website will also feature a searchable index for users to find and access individual articles based on the topic and/or name of the author. These developments will prove to be of great convenience to readers and researchers, so we hope you will make the most use of these new features.

To purchase our publications, visit our McGill Bookstore page.

Annals of Air and Space Law

Volume XXXIX (2014) has been published!

Download our Annals Order Form [.pdf] to order copies, or consult the Annals of Air & Space Law - Comprehensive Index (1982-2009) [.pdf]

The deadline to submit an article for Volume XXXX (2015) of the Annals is 31 March 2015.

Celebrating 60 years at the IASL

The Institute of Air and Space Law looks back on a rich history of over 60 years of education, public service and scholarship. Over 900 of its loyal graduates today serve in some of the highest legal positions; at the bar, in the industry; and for governmental and international agencies in some 120 nations around the world. Come and join us at the IASL!