ILS International Law and Practice Course 2020 Lecture Four

The Challenges for the Regulation of Outer Space: Balancing International Law, Technology and Geopolitics

Join the International Law Section for the fourth ILS International Law and Practice Course lecture for 2020 – The Challenges for the Regulation of Outer Space: Balancing International Law, Technology and Geopolitics – featuring Professor Steven Freeland and Mr Fred Chilton.

We stand at the forefront of quite remarkable technological developments that have the potential to make this coming decade a turning point as regards humankind’s activities in space. Coupled with this, the challenges associated with the increasing proliferation of space debris raise an imperative for us to alter the current ‘business as usual’ model, in an attempt to address the risk of a ‘tragedy of the commons’ scenario in space.

The myriad challenges and opportunities of space call for a more collective and cooperative approach to applying and further developing the international framework to manage (and prioritise) our future activities in space.

Despite obvious ‘terrestrial’ tensions and geopolitical differences, the major space faring States generally have very significant common interests in maintaining a stable space environment. The decisions that we take now about whether, and how, to cooperate and reach some form of international understanding on the forthcoming ‘big’ space issues, rather than tending towards viewing space in a binary fashion, will determine how we move forward as a humanity.

This lecture will address the role of the international legal framework – complemented by national space law specific to each country’s unique requirements – in emphasising the common interests of all space faring (and other) states in acting in a manner that supports the safety, security and sustainability of space, rather than reinforcing the multi-polar stances that are seen in the current geopolitical context.


Event details

Date: 20 October 2020

Time: 5.00 - 6.30 pm (AEST)

Venue: Webinar via Zoom

This event will be hosted online and is only available to ILS Members. To participate in the webinar, become a member of the International Law Section which includes access to the ILS International Law and Practice Course 3.0. Join here. See Section membership fees here.

If you have any queries about the event, please contact Doris Wimmler, ILS Section Administrator, on 02 6246 3758 or email




Professor Steven Freeland 
Steven Freeland is Professor of International Law at Western Sydney University, specialising in Commercial Space Law, and previously the Dean of the School of Law. He also holds Visiting or Adjunct positions at Universities/Institutes in Copenhagen, Vienna, Toulouse, Hong Kong, Montreal, Kuala Lumpur and London and is a Member of the Advisory Group of the Australian Space Agency.

He has been an advisor to the Australian, New Zealand, Norwegian and several other governments on issues relating to national space legislative frameworks and policy and has represented the Australian Government at Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) meetings. He has also been appointed by UNCOPUOS to co-chair multilateral discussions on the exploration, exploitation and utilisation of space resources. He is a Director of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), and a member of the Space Law Committees of both the International Bar Association (IBA) and International Law Association (ILA).

Fred Chilton
Executive Member of the International Law Section. Fred is a highly experienced corporate and commercial lawyer who has enjoyed success in a broad range of practice areas – from property trusts, mining and resource matters to telecommunications, media, technology, pharmaceutical and venture capital clients. He has been actively involved in the International Bar Association and the International Law Section of the Law Council and has been recognised by Chambers, Euromoney and Who's Who Legal as one of the world's leading IT and eCommerce lawyers.

Fred holds degrees from Sydney and Harvard Universities. His experience includes over two decades as a partner at a major Australian law firm and two years in New York working for a major American firm.

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