Outer Space and Polar Regions: challenges for international law and governance

Dr Alla Pozdnakova1

1Law Faculty University Of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

This paper will discuss the contribution of the space sector to the sustainable development in the Polar Regions. Access to the outer space and space-based services is indispensable for the actors conducting activities in the Polar areas and for supervision of such activities. At the same time, space-based services are of fundamental importance for climate change observation making polar satellite data important for the world community outside Polar regions.

The paper addresses existing and future challenges for the international law and governance arising from the increasing activities in the Polar areas. It explores interactions and the gaps existing in the international legal regimes governing the use of the Outer space which may affect the protection and development of the Polar areas (with focus on Arctic). The paper examines the development of the contemporary law on the outer space activities and discusses the role of international bodies and inter-State forums (UN COPUOUS, IMO, Arctic Council) for the improvement of governance of the outer space –related issues of relevance for the sustainable Polar areas.


Alla Pozdnakova is Professor of Law at the University of Oslo, Law Faculty, Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law. She is a doctor of law (Oslo, 2007) and holds LL.M European and International Law (Latvia, 2000). Currently, she works on the law of the sea, outer space law, Arctic and EU. Her other experience includes public international law, European law, administrative law and competition law. She is a Head of the Research Group on the International Law and Governance and a member of the Northern Areas Committee (Uni. Oslo) and member of a law committee on the Norwegian space law.

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