Chaire de recherche du Canada en ÉPI

Université Laval


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Peer-reviewed presentations

  • 61 Proc. Int'l Inst. Space L. 157 (2018)61st IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space Bremen, Germany: Session 1: 10th Nandasiri Jasentuliyana Keynote Lecture on Space Law and Young Scholars Session

    This paper seeks to critically analyze and review the draft Space Activities Bill, 2017 (“Space Activities Bill”) that was issued by the Government of India on 21 November 2017 for comments. The critique provided in this paper is especially from international law perspective. As the Space Activities Bill provides, its aim is to encourage enhanced participation of non-governmental/ private sector agencies in space activities in India, in compliance with international treaty obligations. Yet a closer look at the said Bill reveals that it essentially only provides for the following: (a) authorisation and license for commercial space activities and prohibition of unauthorised space activity; (b) liability and indemnification to Central Government for damage arising out of commercial space activities; and (c) registration of space objects. Thus, the Space Activities Bill is immoderately focused on liability for damage due to private space activities.While focusing on authorization and liability, other important aspects that may incur international responsibility have been ignored; for example, the definitions under the Space Activities often do not clarify the legal position well. India being a space player for decades and party to most space treaties, the Space Activities Bill should provide a mechanism and procedure for implementing the international obligations undertaken by India under these treaties, such as, carrying out space activities out for the benefit of all; non-appropriation of outer space; and space-sustainability. However, the said Bill, which aims to act as an umbrella space legislation, does not include several such international obligations. Thus the paper argues that while liability and registration are important aspects of space law, there are other important aspects, which should not be ignored while enacting a national space legislation.


  • Preventing collisions between space objects in outer space: Clarifying the law of state responsibility for better enforcement (Doctoral thesis in Air and Space Law pursued at McGill University under the supervision of Prof (Dr) Ram S Jakhu

    This thesis deals with the issue of collisions between space objects in outer space and argues that proper enforcement of State responsibility is a tool to address the issue. The already crowded Earth’s orbit is threatened by rapidly increasing space debris, testing of anti-satellite weapons, the launch of thousands of satellites in various mega-constellations, CubeSats which are cheap to manufacture, and the renewed space race between the States. However, a single collision between space objects in outer space has the probability of triggering a string of collisions, leading to a Gravity-like situation. At the moment, States are often reluctant to assume responsibility for threats to sustainable use of outer space. The current international space law does not assign the responsibility of States adequately and appropriately, in addition to being indeterminate. This thesis uses the theoretical framework of justice as the basis of international space law to solve the inappropriate assignment of State responsibility by balancing the competing interests of States, including the special interests of the developing countries, and by reducing indeterminacy of international space law. The solution includes arguing that knowledge of an impending collision makes a State responsible to share the data and that State responsibility for better oversight of national space activities can be ensured through a combination of State control, governance by insurance and governance by bilateral space treaties clarifying the ‘appropriate’ responsible State.