ASL1000 | Air and Space Law

Course Information

  • 2019-20
  • ASL1000
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)
  • V
  • Jul 2019
  • Seminar Course

Spatially outer space commences where air space ends and it is commonly misconstrued that space law and air law have the same fundamental principles but contrary to it the two fields are remarkably distinct branches of international law. Space Law is not an extension of air law, or a continuation of it. The principal difference between the legal regimes governing air space and outer space is that the air space above a state’s territory is subject to exclusive sovereignty of respective State. Even though the vertical limit of sovereignty has not been defined till date but certainly such a limit does exist irrespective of the altitude and it does not extend to outer space. Outer space is not subject to sovereignty of any states.
As the two branches are distinct independent disciplines the course is structured in two parts. Part I offers a comprehensive overview of the international air law and also attempts to discuss the aviation law in India. It discusses the major international treaties that establish the core elements of civil aviation viz the fundamentals established under the 1944 Chicago Convention; liability regime under the 1929 Warsaw Convention, the 1952 Rome Convention and the 1978 Montreal Protocol, criminal issues covered under the 1963 Tokyo Convention, the 1970 Hague Convention and the 1971 Montreal Convention.
Part II of the course deals with the law of outer space. It will reflect upon the five major space treaties viz the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, 1969 rescue Agreement, 1971 Liability Convention, 1975 Registration Convention and the 1979 Moon Agreement. Even though the domain of space law has largely been confined to these five treaties and number of non-binding UN resolutions but the legal issues in outer space has been escalating. Emerging legal issues in light of scientific developments will also be discussed.


Kumar Abhijeet

Visiting Faculty