Keio Advanced Research Center for Space Law [Institute of Space law]


About the Institute

Purpose of Establishment

In international society, legal principles governing space related activities have been structured by the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) based on the UNGA Resolution 1472 in 1959.


Institute of Space Law, formally established in April 2012 by the cooperation between Keio University and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), is an interdisciplinary research institute to study various aspects of space related issues corresponding to the expansion of space activities and [to the] development of space related technology and its commercialization.


Our institute aims at achieving the following objectives;

 (1) to examine the legal aspects of various issues in space activities,

 (2) to improve the level of research [in the field of Space Law,

 (3) to provide researchers and practitioners with the scientific knowledge of Space Law,

 (4) to contribute for the Asian countries in capacity building in the area of Space Law.




Research projects in FY2012

Continuation of existing researches

We will study the current status of discussion regarding International Space Law at the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) to analyze the direction of law making, roles of the UN in law making in International Space Law and the positioning of International Space Law in the whole system of international law.

COPUOS, a permanent subsidiary body of the UN, is the primary international forum for the development of laws and principles governing outer space. The Legal Subcommittee of COPUOS is held regularly each year and discusses about ten agenda among member states (currently 71 countries) to draft treaties and other documents which are not legally binding. It is necessary to follow the trend continuously.

In FY2012, the Institute will focus on domestic space laws of each country since they are one of major agendas at the committee. We will analyze the results of the exchange of information on national legistlation relavant to space activities in order to deepen researches on standard forms of permissons and supervisions by the relevant government and legal effects of transfer of space objects on the orbit.

Newly started project

The legal issues regarding space debris mitigation meausures are the newly started projects in FY2012,. The results of this project is expected to be published as reports.

To examine the legal issues regarding the measures in space debris mitigation, including removals of space debris without consent from relevant countries. The topic is important point of argument in the execution of space debris mitigation, which both the Legal Subcommittee and the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of COPUOS are discussing. It is also expected the research will contribute for international cooperation of Japan in the development of satellites to remove space debris.

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