The US is the country most reliant on space and the heaviest user of space from a civilian government, military and commercial perspective. Government and private sector needs for space law expertise is growing and space law is an offering at very few American law schools. Additionally, aerospace is a very large industry in California. Space law can be considered a specialty within international law (allowing students to further their understanding of international law within this sub-specialty or learn international law through the study of space law). It can also be considered a "capstone" course (allowing students to synthesize their knowledge of various areas of the law including torts, property, foreign affairs, insurance, administrative law among others, as well as view legal norms along a horizontal spectrum (binding to voluntary, formal to informal) and vertical spectrum (international, federal, and state/local levels). This course provides an overview of space law, including a detailed examination of elements of military, civilian and commercial space law and policy with reference to current and future developments. Course coverage will include the five major international treaties dealing directly with space (the Outer Space Treaty, Liability Convention, Registration Convention, Rescue and Return Agreement, and Moon Treaty), the application of these Cold-War era treaties to modern space activities and issues (including space tourism, space debris, and space security), "soft law" instruments attempting to regulate space, U.S. national legislation and regulations addressing space issues, including commercial space law and regulations, the law of space insurance, and mechanisms for the creation and negotiation of international space law, including the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and international business law of great relevance to the aerospace industry. The course may include a guest lecturer from the private sector space law community.
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