Space Law on the Couch

Professor Dale Stephens recently joined the Attorney General of SA (and Deputy Premier), The Hon Vicki Chapman MP and Crown Solicitor Office lawyer Mr Sam Nelson for a ‘space on the couch’ session at the Science Exchange.  The event was attended by representatives of the Crown Solicitor’s Office as well as other Government Departments  as well a number of private practitioners. The session covered presentations on Australian and international space activities, both commercial and military, the prevailing legal framework for space activity and the opportunities that were emerging for Australia and South Australia in space industry.  Adelaide Law School Space law courses and space law research activities (Space Security Index and the ANGELS program ( ) were also highlighted and discussed. Questions were fielded from the packed audience that ranged from what the next big legal issue will be for space, to how to navigate questions of fault and attribution for space activity through to Adelaide Law School’s work on the Woomera Manual (

Adelaide Law School Dean, Professor Melissa de Zwart, is a Director of the Australian Space Industry Association of Australia and the Law School leads in pioneering research regarding both commercial and military activities in space.  With the Australian Space Agency being located in Adelaide there is enormous potential for South Australia to shape thinking in the space law and policy field.

Professor Stephens also contributed to a recent piece on the current range of international activities in Space that appeared in the Weekend Sydney Morning Herald and Age ( and was interviewed by ABC Radio in a podcast hosted by ‘The Signal’ dealing with potential warfare in Space (’.

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