Auckland Wins Space Law Trophy

In the Super Bowl or World Cup of international space law competition, it's not quite the beginning of a 21st century dynasty, but for the second time this millennium, the University of Auckland Law School conquered the world in Earth's premier space law shoot out.

Last week in Valencia, Spain (not Barcelona, as the University's
press release states), before three sitting members of the International Court of Justice, New Zealand's Auckland out argued students from Canadian space law powerhouse McGill University in the finals of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition to take the world title.

Congratulation to Auckland's space law wranglers Jonathan Orpin and James Townshend and their coaches Simon Mount, Isaac Ihaka, and associate law professor Scott Optican.

As I've noted, the 2006 problem involved the sale and operation of commercial remote sensing satellites (Galatea v Thalassa).

And yes, world famous remote sensing law expert Prof. Joanne Gabrynowitz was on hand for the finals. She called the arguments "excellent."

Auckland also won in 2003 in Bremen, Germany beating finalists from Georgetown University and the University of Bremen.

The finals, of course, took place during and in conjunction with the
57th International Astronautical Congress and the International Institute of Space Law's 49th Colloquium.

And here is a list of the trophy winners since the start of The Lachs Moot in 1992:

2005 - George Washington University (US) -- World Finals: Fukuoka, Japan
2004 - University of Leiden (the Netherlands) -- World Finals: Vancouver, Canada
2003 - University of Auckland (New Zealand) -- World Finals: Bremen, Germany
2002 - Georgetown University (US) -- World Finals: Houston, US
2001 - National University of Singapore -- World Finals: Toulouse, France
2000 - University of Paris XI (France) -- World Finals: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1999 - Vanderbilt University (US) -- World Finals: The Hague, the Netherlands
1998 - University of North Carolina (US) -- World Finals: Melbourne, Australia
1997 - University of Paris XI (France) -- World Finals: Turin, Italy
1996 - University of Helsinki (Finland) -- World Finals: Beijing, China
1995 - University of North Carolina (US) -- World Finals: Oslo, Norway
1994 - John Marshall University (Chicago, US) -- World Finals: Jerusalem, Israel
1993 - University of Leiden (the Netherlands) -- World Finals: Graz, Austria
1992 - George Washington University (US) -- World Finals: Washington, US

Who will win the Manfred Lachs Trophy (pictured above)
next year? Break out your treaty law, book your flight for the 2007 International Astronautical Congress in Hyderabad, India and stay tuned.

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