9th McGill Annual Strategic Space Law Course a success

Published: 1 November 2023

On 24-27 October 2023, the McGill Institute and Centre for Research in Air and Space Law held the ninth edition of the Annual Strategic Space Law Course online. Organised in cooperation with Spectrum Space Security Inc., headed by IASL graduate Mr. Gilles Doucet, and coordinated by Managing Editor of the McGill Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space Mr. Kuan-Wei Chen, the Course this year attracted over fifty participants from across the globe. At the conclusion of the course, participants were each awarded a Certificate of Participation.

The annual Strategic Space Law Course is designed to provide legal and policy professionals and students with a solid understanding of the strategic and economic value of space, and the applicable rules of international law that govern security and commercial activities in outer space. Over the span of four days, some of the most renowned subject-matter experts and practitioners in the world provided participants with engaging lectures and much food for thought in the interactive Q&A session following each lecture.

At start of the Course, Institute Co-Director Professor Andrea Harrington welcomed the participants on behalf of the Institute. In addition to foundational lectures on the international and national regulation of space activities, the Course covered a wide range of topics including the technical and operational aspects of the military use of space, commercial-military space transactions, norms of responsible behaviour in outer space, strategic challenges of large satellite constellations, cybersecurity policy and standards for space operations, and the application of the law of armed conflict in the event of hostilities in space.

As the world's first course focusing on various legal and policy considerations surrounding the strategic uses of outer space, the Strategic Space Law course has been organised by the IASL since 2014. Its continuing success for close to a decade is testament to the growing demand for legal training and knowledge on a variety of issues and challenges that space operators, legal professionals and policy advisers may be expected to grapple with in the space domain.

In-person sessions of the Strategic Space Law Course are planned in the near future, which will provide valuable opportunities for participants to learn from seasoned lecturers as well as network with other professionals in the bourgeoning space industry.

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