23 Oct 2019
Nebraska space law professor Frans von der Dunk hosted a roundtable discussion on “Planetary Defense: Legal Issues” at the American Society of Law’s Tillar House in downtown Washington DC prior to the opening of the 2019 International Aeronautics Congress/International Institute of Space Law Symposium.
Many prominent space law experts from around the world were in attendance, including Professor Jack Beard who served as one of the speakers, and Professor Matt Schaefer who served as a commentator.
The focus of this event was the in-progress book edited by University of Vienna Professor Irmgard Marboe titled “Legal Aspects of Planetary Defence,” part of the Brill/Nijhoff Series: Studies in Space Law (series editor: Professor Frans von der Dunk).
The speakers and commentators at this event will be authors of chapters in Marboe’s book or have particular expertise in areas of international law of significance to planetary defense.
The event brought together the American Society of International Law (ASIL), a leading American international law association, and the International Institute of Space Law. The event was sponsored by the ASIL Space Law Interest Group, co-chaired by Nebraska Law's Beard and Magilton, and Beard developed and organized this unprecedented event as part of his work on the ASIL “Signature Topics” Steering Committee.
(The term “Planetary Defense” refers to efforts to protect earth from future, catastrophic asteroid impact.)