Space lawyers in Hyderabad

नमस्ते. Greetings from SLP to all gathered this week in Hyderabad, India for the 58th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2007).

The five-day summit, organized by the International Astronautical Federation, the International Academy of Astronautics and of course the
International Institute of Space Law (IISL) (and did I leave anyone out?) -- all graciously hosted by the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Astronautical Society of India -- brings together delegates and seriously interested folks from all around the home planet to brainstorm about space interests -- business, technology, tourism, exploration and lots more. Which is just the sort of thing that will attract space lawyers galore.

Yes, I see a number of interesting space policy and law sessions in the
extensive IAC line-up, just one example of which is this space tourism law panel which I previewed in an earlier post. Wish I were there.

For now, some initial news out of Hyderabad, where the summit is underway
under tight security in the wake of last month's terror bombings in the city: Mike Griffin gave a speech outlining NASA's goals, saying in the centenary of the space age (that's 2057, if my math is correct,) "we should be celebrating 20 years of man on Mars." And India's Minister of State Prithviraj Chavan said his country is planning to conduct 60 space missions over the next five years.

As I've talked about, one of the main space law events, held in conjunction with IISL's annual space law colloquium at IAC, consists of the semi-finals and world finals of the
16th Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition. Future space lawyers who have been researching, pacing the floor and sharpening their oral arguments all year will duke it out in real space-time in the "Case Concerning International Liability" (Emeralda v Mazonia); the semi-final will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 25th in a "closed session" at the convention center in Hyderabad. The finals will be held on Thursday Sept. 27th at NALSAR University of Law, and, as I've noted, will be judged by three members of the International Court of Justice. The case may be moot but it is major league.

And yes, for invitees only, the annual dinner of IISL will follow the finals.

I look forward to hearing from everyone who has promised me news and updates from India. ;) Meanwhile, have fun, all; and good luck, moot court competitors!

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