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The Law in Space: Albany Law Review annual symposium will examine legal issues beyond the stars

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The editors of the Albany Law Review had an out-of-this-world idea for the journal’s 2021 symposium.

The presentation for the student-run publication’s 85th annual volume is, “Law and Space: Challenges of the New Space Race.” The symposium will be held virtually on Nov. 4 from 5-8 p.m. The symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is required through the law school’s website.

“It isn’t going to be just science fiction writers who will be answering the question, ‘What will it be like to govern and enforce laws in space?’ for much longer,” said David Umansky who is a third-year law student and the journal’s Executive Editor for Symposium. “There is so much room for conflict and chaos that upholding current agreements and laws while updating and creating new space law, could be just as important as scientific breakthroughs.”

The symposium will be moderated by Albany Law School Visiting Assistant Professor Alexandra Harrington – an expert in international and indigenous law – and will feature:

  • Duncan Blake – Department of Defense of Australia, Legal Advisor (Reserve), Military Strategic Commitments

  • Mike Gold –  Executive Vice President for Civil Space and External Affairs at Redwire Space

  • Timiebi U. Aganaba –  Arizona State University, Assistant Professor of Space and Society in School for the Future of Innovation in Society with a courtesy appointment at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law  

  • Steven Wood – Associate Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship of SUNY Research Foundation  

Overall, the symposium will focus on critical questions surrounding property ownership in space, the military, and the United States’ standing among the international space community.   
While the space race of the mid-20th century was a cornerstone of the rivalry between the United States and the former Soviet Union, today, the U.S. is in the middle of the next step in the evolution of space travel. Private companies and countries such as China and India have begun to successfully travel into space and there is a legitimate potential for the colonization of celestial bodies, such as the moon and Mars. How does, and how could, the law apply when each of these entities, inevitably, has a conflict?

More about the Albany Law Review is at www.albanylawreview.org.