Space Protocol needs industry support
Professor Mark Sundahl, who, as we know from our blogspace interactive experiment in international treaty-drafting, among other things, is a member of the UNIDROIT working group charged with drafting the Space Assets Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, sends SLP the following quick update.
Work on the Space Assets Protocol to the UNIDROIT Cape Town Convention has reached a critical juncture. Substantial progress has been made to refine the technical aspects of the protocol, such as its application to components of space assets. However, the project may be delayed if greater support from the space industry does not materialize. The benefits of the protocol to space entrepreneurs and existing companies is clear: the ability to easily create enforceable security interests will reduce the cost of credit and make financing more available. A progressive law of secured transactions is particularly important in the current environment of reduced liquidity since lenders are now looking for greater security.
In light of this, members of the space industry and financial institutions are urged to lend their support to UNIDROIT's efforts and provide their input so that UNIDROIT can move forward with the project and create a legal regime that is most responsive to the needs of the industry. Any comments, questions or expressions of support can be sent me at email@example.com.
Mark adds that Sir Roy Goode (who is also writing the commentary to the Rail Protocol, which sounds interesting, too but hey, it ain't space law), is in the process of revising the draft Space Assets Protocol. And yes, UNIDROIT will be issuing a report in the near future detailing status, etc. Stay tuned.
For now, as attention is focused on getting input and building support from industry, tune in to Mark on The Space Show, Nov. 19th for an opportunity to hear more, offer your comments and ask questions. (And say hi to David Livingston, too. ;)
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UPDATE: An SLP reader sends in this related pointer -- the University of Illinois College of Law's Illinois Business Law Journal has an overview, Financing Space Assets and Private Business Entities (Part I) (Oct 22, 2007). Thanks, Marky R!