IAASS Press Release N° 2016/2
4 November 2016

International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety and McGill Institute of Air and Space Law sign Cooperation Agreement

Isabelle Rongier, President of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), Noordwijk, The Netherlands, and Prof. Dr. Ram S. Jakhu, Director of the Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which formalizes the cooperation between the two organizations.

The MoU confirms and defines the already existing cooperation on the co-organization of the Manfred Lachs international conferences which is in practice since the first event in 2013. These yearly conferences address challenges of civil and military operations in space, risks for space safety and sustainability, and security. They involve experts in space law as well as technical experts on development and operation of space systems. The first such conference focused on the regulation of emerging modes of aerospace transportation. The fourth and most recent Manfred Lachs international conference, which took place in Montreal in May 2016, dealt with conflicts in space and the rule of law.

The newly signed MoU extends the cooperation between the two organizations to additional activities, which are mutually beneficial and support each other’s interests. Possible activities under consideration are the reciprocal support to publications and to the advertisement of symposia and workshops, the organization of and participation in joint activities including representation in international event and organisations, and the cooperation on initiatives in the field of space safety and sustainability. The cooperation is based on the principle that each party bears the costs of conducting their respective activities. The MoU is valid for five years with an option of automatic renewal.

“The International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety has common interests with the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law in promoting safety and sustainability of space activities and the strengthening the space sector’s development, education and outreach. In this respect, the co-organization of the Manfred Lachs international conferences is the founding element of our cooperation”, commented IAASS President Isabelle Rongier upon the signature of the MoU. Prof. Dr. Ram S. Jakhu, speaking for the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law, underlined that the two organizations will work together in pursuing the highest quality standards in education and research in the rule of law related to the safe and sustainable exploration, development and use of space for the benefit of all nations.

Tommaso Sgobba, Executive Director of IAASS, expressed his satisfaction with the MoU: “IAASS advocates the establishment of safety laws, rules, and regulatory bodies at national and international levels for the civil use of space. The McGill Institute of Air and Space Law is an ideal partner for us in this goal, given that its educational programme is unique in the world as it covers both air and space law. In the emergence of future transportation systems that operate in airspace as well as in outer space, the long-standing issue of the boundaries between legal regimes, safety rules, and regulatory bodies concerned with aviation and spaceflight needs to be solved in a holistic, fresh approach by a new generation of legal and technical specialists.”

More on IAASS and IASL:

IAASS, the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety is a non-profit organization to furthering international cooperation and scientific advancement in the field of space system safety. It was legally established on 16 April 2004 under Dutch law and has its headquarters based in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

In 2004, IAASS became a member of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and in 2010, IAASS was granted Observer status at the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Space (COPUOS) in Vienna.

The Association exists to help shape and advance an international culture of space safety, to make space missions, vehicles, stations, extraterrestrial habitats, equipment and payloads safer for the general public, ground personnel, crews and flight participants. IAASS also pursues the safeguarding and sustainability of the on-orbit environment to allow unimpeded access to space by future generations.

IAASS membership is open to anyone having a professional interest in space safety. Members can be physical persons, corporations, agencies, universities, institutions, and other professional associations.

More information on www.iaass.org

IASL, the Institute of Air and Space Law of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, celebrates this year its 65th anniversary. In 1944, the world community had laid the groundwork for the establishment of the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal to ensure that the legal and regulatory regime governing aviation would be uniform across nations. Seven years later, in 1951, recognizing the critical role that legal education would play in facilitating integration of legal standards globally, McGill University established the Institute of Air and Space Law to provide graduate legal education for students from around the world.

Since its foundation, the Institute has educated more than 1,000 specialists in air and space law from all over the world. Its graduates serve in some of the highest legal positions in the legal profession, industry, and academic and governmental institutions in some 120 nations.

Today, after 65 years, the IASL remains undoubtedly the most prominent and decorated educational and research institution in the world in the domain. The IASL is the only institution to have been awarded the highly prestigious Edward Warner Award by the United Nations’ specialized agency ICAO in recognition of the Institute’s ground-breaking achievements in air law education and research.

More information on www.mcgill.ca/iasl/