Public lecture on Space Law by Prof. Katrin Nyman Metcalf


Riga Graduate School of Law (RGSL) is pleased to inform that the 2nd public lecture in cooperation with Ellex Kļaviņš will take place on 12 December at 16:00 at Strēlnieku 4 k-2 by Professor Katrin Nyman Metcalf, titled “Outer space for all mankind – pretty words or a legal reality?”

Katrin Nyman Metcalf has worked for her entire long career with issues that link law and technology. She is Adjunct Professor of Communications Law at the Institute of Law, School of Business and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, and Programme Director for Research and Legal Issues for the Estonian e-Governance Academy. Professor Nyman Metcalf is Chairman of the International Relations Committee (IRC) of the European Space Agency since 2017. Her PhD (Uppsala University, 1999) is on the question of use of space resources and the line between appropriation and use. Furthermore, she is active globally as consultant primarily in the area of communications law in the wide sense, including ICT regulation, artificial intelligence, privacy and data protection, media law, e-governance and cyber issues. She has worked in more than 50 countries, including post-conflict and developing states, with legal analysis and drafting, professional training and creation of regulatory authorities. 

The topic for the talk is the law of outer space against the modern developments of constantly new activities in outer space and the rapidly growing involvement of private enterprise. USA and Luxembourg have recently passed legislation on space resources, so is it now OK for private companies to mine metals on planets or asteroids? Private companies plan mega-constellations of hundreds or thousands of satellites – so if all orbits are occupied, is space still free for all to use? And what about the plots of land that one can buy on the Moon? The Outer Space Treaty from 1967, still the “basic law” for outer space proclaims that space cannot be appropriated but it can be used, while its use shall be for the benefit of all mankind. This Treaty was written in a very different era for outer space use: is it still relevant?

More information and online registration can be found here.