Websites maintained by international and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are good sources for free, credible information about space and law and policy.
International & Intergovernmental Organizations
- United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS)
The UN General Assembly established COPUOS in 1958, shortly after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite. COPUOS was instrumental in drafting the five treaties and five principles that constitute the foundational documents of space law. It continues to provide a global platform for international cooperation in space exploration, in the development of space technologies, and in addressing the problem of near-Earth asteroids and other potential threats from outer space.
- United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
UNOOSA is the secretariat for the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. It is comprised of civil servants who are responsible for the day-to-day operations and record keeping of the Committee. UNOOSA's Space Law gateway page provides access to a wealth of information, including the following:
- International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
The ITU, is a specialized agency of the UN that facilitates international cooperation in the development and operation of telecommunications networks. The ITU's Space Services Department is responsible for allocating the geostationary orbits used by telecommunications satellites and the radio frequencies used for satellite broadcasting. Although the ITU operates under the UN's umbrella, it is a separate legal entity with its own membership and funding.
- Centre for Research in Air and Space Law
The Centre is the principle research and educational outreach arm of the Institute for Air & Space Law at McGill University in Canada. In addition to conducting interdisciplinary research on air and space law and policy, the Centre sponsors conferences, workshops, and seminars, and a series of webinars. The Centre's publications, including its flagship journal, Annals of Air and Space Law, are available on HeinOnline.
- European Centre for Space Law
Established in 1989 by the European Space Agency, the ECSL provides a forum for interdisciplinary dialogue and the exchange of ideas related to space law among legal practitioners, civil servants, scholars, and students. It sponsors educational workshops and conferences, as well as an annual moot court competition and essay contest.
- European Space Policy Institute
Comprised of representatives of other IGOs, state-funded research agencies, and private industry, the ESPI provides an independent platform for developing policy options and recommendations to promote the sustainable development of the European space sector. Visit the publications page to download the ESPI's annual Yearbook on Space Policy, as well as reports and executive briefings.
- International Institute of Space Law
The IISL was founded in 1960 to further the development of space law and the expansion of the rule of law in the exploration and use of outer space. It includes both institutional members and individuals members elected on the basis of their contributions to the field of space law. Visit the publications page to access newsletters, lectures, and committee reports. The annual publication Proceedings of the IISL is available on HeinOnline (3-year embargo) and in print (2012-present).
- London Institute of Space Policy and Law
The LISPL is a non-profit think tank that conducts independent research on topics related to space law and policy, as well as research commissioned by governments and private entities. It also sponsors a wide range of programming and events, including lectures, workshops, courses, and continuing professional development for practitioners. Many LISPL documents and publications can be accessed through its online library's search interface.
- Space Policy Institute
Established in 1987 as part of the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University, the SPI conducts research, offers graduate courses, and sponsors seminars, symposia, and conferences on topics related to U.S. and international space policy. Visit the SPI's research, publications and presentations page to access newsletters, faculty-authored articles and conference papers, papers published by visiting researchers and students, and additional content.
- Secure World Foundation
The SWF is private foundation established in 2002 to facilitate cooperation, at both the national and international levels, in the development of sustainable space policies and laws that govern the exploration and use of outer space. Visit the resource library page to browse SWF publications by type and by topic. Or browse by author name on the staff publications page and the staff publications archive.