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    The grand project of “Belt and Road” Space Information Corridor proposed by China, which aims to integrate its space-based platforms for comprehensive space applications under the Belt and Road Initiative, resonates with calls and recommendations of the United Nations conferences on the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space for increased international cooperation in space projects to address common challenges. This project is expected to translate the potentials of space technology for socioeconomic development into real benefits for billions of people along the Belt and Road region. The Chinese government has released guidelines in 2016 to identify the general goals and major tasks.
    As we celebrate legacy of the UNISPACE conferences this year, it is beneficial to also focus on the ramifications of large scale space projects for governance of space activities on national, regional and international level. On the one hand, policy and legal aspects are important factors to be taken into account in project planning and implementation. On the other hand, the need to accommodate requirements of space projects could stimulate adjustment or innovation in space policies and regulations. The “B&R” Space Information Corridor offers us a chance to explore such interaction between space project and space governance. Based on analysis of the relevant aspects of legal environment, this paper purports to examine opportunities and challenges confronted with during implementation of the “mega-project” from legal perspectives.


Kang Duan
China Great Wall Industry Corporation.

Irina Chernykh
Department of International Law, RUDN University.
Article

Legal Rights and Possibilities to Access Satellite Data for a Non-Member State of Space Community

Case of Republic of Serbia

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2018
Keywords satellite data, digital divide, space law, EU, Copernicus, Republic of Serbia
Authors Anja Nakarada Pecujlic and Marko Pajovic
AbstractAuthor's information

    In today’s technologically dependent society an average person interacts 36x per day with satellite through diverse applications (e.g. to note just one example - 3/4 of the data used in weather prediction models depend on satellite data). Because of this wide use of satellites, nowadays 80+ countries currently operate at least one satellite in space (latest countries to reach space were Ghana, Mongolia, Bangladesh and Angola). Especially for states that are less economically and technologically developed, space systems are particularly useful and necessary in order to achieve “frog leaping” and decrease the economic and social inequalities between developing and developed states. Involvement in space activities gives them the opportunity to utilize state of the art technology and solve local issues (e.g. environmental, e-health, e-medicine, transportation). Taking a closer look at the satellite data and imagery, it can be observed that the users are mainly public sector clients, such as military institutions for security uses as well as environmental and agricultural authorities. Hence, in the first line it is important to examine which legal framework is governing the access to satellite data and if public sector clients from the developing countries have the same guaranteed rights under international law as the developed nations. This paper will offer in its first part an overview of existing international norms regulating access to satellite data, focusing on relevant provisions in the corpus iuris spatialis. In the second part it will compare these legal rights with the praxis, i.e. determining what are actual possibilities to exercise these rights, if a state is not involved in space activities and has never been a member of space community like in the case of Republic of Serbia. In the third and final part, the paper will zoom in on the EU flagship programs - Copernicus and Galileo - and ESA’s data access policies in regards to states that are neither EU nor ESA member states, but are striving for full European integration, as Serbia.


Anja Nakarada Pecujlic
Institute for Air Law, Space Law and Cyber Law, University of Cologne, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne 50923, Germany (corresponding author), anja.n.pecujlic@outlook.com.

Marko Pajovic
Serbian Case for Space Foundation, Dr. Ivana Ribara 105, Belgrade 11070, Serbia, marko.pajovic@serbiancaseforspace.com.

    The majority of the world still does not have access to the internet, and this “digital divide” is not only an issue in developing countries. Unconnected populations exist in every country, and regulators must find ways to provide universal access to the internet. Furthermore, the demand for connectivity (internet and data) is growing exponentially, and existing terrestrial solutions likely will be insufficient. Regulators must foster new technologies such as the newest non-geostationary satellite constellations, which have almost no delay for two-way voice and data connections and can provide broadband to the most remote and unconnected populations and industries. To ensure the fast deployment of these solutions, regulators should support technology-neutral regulations (such as blanket licensing) that encourage speedy rollout of innovative services, as well as have transparent “open skies” policies that promote competition (which has been proven to boost economies).


Ruth Pritchard-Kelly
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, OneWeb.
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