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Thursday, October 10 • 14:15 - 14:35
Disrupting Space Governance: Regulation in an Era of Technological and Commercial (R)evolutions

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The talk will present the current structure of space governance and the basics of space law, as well as the necessary transformation thereof to meet the challenges of the technological and commercial (r)evolutions that disrupt the old order in favor of opening new horizons. The talk will demonstrate that after an initial period of successful development of space governance featuring institutions building and the adoption of space law treaties, from the early days in the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, space governance, as developed by those institutions, has largely stagnated. This long stagnation is a result of the decline in the rule-making capacity of the main institutions, comparable with the general trend in global affairs. The consequence is that even the most important issues, e.g. space debris, militarization, space traffic control and utilization of space resources, are left insufficiently addressed.

The new technological and commercial developments, notably those of the private sector that is already taking the lead on space exploration, are pushing the boundaries of space law and putting a strain on the outed system of space governance. Only a decentralized model of governance, may address the disruption and the needs of new space actors for regulatory assurances and accepted standards. Indeed, space governance is already on track to become decentralized, increasingly and inevitably, as stakeholders and experts establish forums that suggest, adopt or push for rules and standards. The result is a gradual emergence of numerous decision-making centers (governance centers) producing numerous, partially overlapping, issue-specific regimes. Thus, in a kind of ‘spontaneous order’, space governance may continuously evolve to meet the ever-changing challenges and opportunities of space exploration and exploitation.

avatar for Eytan Tepper

Eytan Tepper

Doctoral candidate, McGill Institute of Air and Space Law
Eytan Tepper is completing his doctorate degree at McGill Institute of Air and Space Law and has previous degrees in law and economics. His research focused on space governance, i.e. on how human space activities are steered, notably how the principles and rules applicable to these... Read More →

Thursday October 10, 2019 14:15 - 14:35 EDT
Room CR1 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10