There has been tremendous growth in science as well as technology in the field of space. Space technologies have become an integral part of modern day life as well as the economy. This has led to the creation of a new branch in law known as the space law. Space law is the branch of law that is applicable to and governs any space related activities.
Space law comprises of international treaties and obligations as well as domestic laws and rules. With the growth in the field of space technology and the participation of various governmental as well as private players, there has been a necessity felt for legal support in this field especially in issues governing the relation between various parties and stakeholders.
International laws governing space are a combination of customs and treaties. India is a party to all the five international treaties and has international coordination with various countries and private organizations. There were five international treaties which have been negotiated and drafted in the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space:
- The Outer Space Treaty of 1967,
- The Rescue Agreement of 1968,
- The Liability Convention of 1972,
- The Registration Convention of 1975, and
- The Moon Treaty of 1979.
The regulatory framework for space activities is defined by a gamut of policies, procedures, rules and guidelines of the Government of India, including:
- Satellite Communications Policy, 2000,
- Revised Remote Sensing Data Policy, 2011,
- Geospatial Information Regulation, 2016 and
- Technology Transfer policy.
There does not exist a comprehensive domestic space law in India, consequently the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has initiated a process of formulating a National Space Act for India for regulating space activities; facilitate enhanced levels of private sector participation and offering more commercial opportunities.
Under the present global scenario, some of the legal issues connected space is related to launch services, issues related to satellite telecommunications services such as broadcasting, issues of earth observation data- processing and distribution, satellite navigational systems and various intellectual properties related to space applications.
The major legal issues faced in the Space industry are:
- Commercial space contract drafting and negotiation and transaction completion
- Space insurance (property, liability and other)
- Provide guidance on international and domestic regulatory matters
- International space contract dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration/litigation
- Assist with intellectual property related protection and licensing of space technologies
We provide our legal services in this field.