Organisation Overview

The Adelaide Law School is leading an international effort with McGill University (Canada) and Exeter University (UK) to draft a Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS).

The Manual will articulate and clarify existing law applicable to military activities in space, in particular armed conflict involving space. It will indicate what limitations international law places on such activities, including those limitations that prohibit a threat of, or use of, force in outer space and the conduct of hostilities rules that apply in the event of an armed conflict reaching into outer space. As with all other domains, it is vital for actors (both States and non-State actors) to understand that outer space is not a lawless frontier; there is a framework of legal rules and principles governing their military conduct in the space domain.

The MILAMOS process has received financial support from the Australian Government and the Canadian Government. In addition, it has support from the US Air Force, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Union of Concerned Scientists and numerous other organizations who are contributing legal and technical experts to the drafting process. Professor Dale Stephens CSM of Adelaide Law School is the Editor in Chief of the Manual. Professor Melissa de Zwart and Associate Professor Matthew Stubbs, both of Adelaide Law School are participating core experts in the process. In addition, the Adelaide Law School is contributing a Research Coordinator and student rapporteurs to the project. Completion date of the Manual is expected to be in 2020.

Expertise and Capabilities

The University of Adelaide Law school is one of the oldest Law schools in Australia and has strong expertise in the area of Space Law, with particular focus on commercial and military aspects of space activity.

Unique Selling Points

The Adelaide Law school is spearheading a major International research effort on identifying and articulating the legal regime that applies to the conduct of military uses of outer space. Adelaide Law School is a partner in the Space Security Index publication series along with McGill University, George Washington University and Xi’ain Jiaotong University.

The University of Adelaide Law School runs both undergraduate and post graduate courses on Strategic Space Law and has a number of PhD students undertaking high level research in the field of Space Law. The Law School has strong links with international partners in the field of Space Law, including McGill University and the University of Nebraska.

Many members of the Law School are recognized as core experts in this field and are deeply involved in the current effort to draft an International Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space.


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