find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Chronicling off-the-planet military laws

Chronicling off-the-planet military laws

Military use of outer space is now a reality and a detailed investigation into its practical legal issues is well overdue, according to law professor Dale Stephens from the University of Adelaide.

Researchers have secured funding to develop a new reference that focuses on laws governing the rules of engagement in outer space. The Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space will be the first such publication of its kind.

The need to settle laws governing military engagement in outer space and the use of "space-based assets" has become more pressing, due in part to increased reliance on satellites. According to Mr Stephens, enemy interference with essential space infrastructure could have potentially catastrophic consequences for civilian banking and telephone services.

"As military operations on Earth have begun to rely heavily on space-based assets, military thinking has begun to imagine how operations could be undertaken to deny adversary access to such assets. However, while weapons systems and military communications rely heavily upon satellites, so do many civilian uses such as the internet and world banking," Mr Stephens said.

As the director of the Military Law and Ethics research unit, he will contribute to a Canadian-led project to set out the fundamental rules on military use of outer space.

Contributions for the manual will be received from military legal experts and academics from around the world, as well as representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross as well as the Union of Concerned Scientists.

According to Mr Stephens, who is also a Reserve Captain in the Royal Australian Navy, the research project is a timely initiative.

"We recognise that potentially devastating consequences could follow for our society if access to outer space were to be interrupted or interfered with through actions undertaken during rising hostilities or outright armed conflict. A detailed investigation of the practical legal issues is well overdue," Mr Stephens said.

"While conflict in space has been the subject of science fiction for many years now, our world is entering an era in which military conflict in space could become a reality," he added.

The project is supported by the McGill University Erin JC Arsenault Trust Fund and headed by Professor Ram Jakhu.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Chronicling off-the-planet military laws
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...