Dear members and friends of IISL,
Happy New Year to you and your families and Happy New Year to our Institute! 2020 will see its 60th anniversary. Founded in 1960, IISL is an institution with a proud tradition and at the same time it is a young, creative and dynamic organisation through its outstanding membership. It is amazing how much our completely volunteer institution can accomplish through dedicated and engaged individuals. Throughout 2019 we saw this fulfilled by members, directors and officers through organising activities, providing platforms for exchanges and discussing the further development of space law. Our two flagships, the Colloquium at IACs and the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition become ever more popular as abstract submissions and teams participating in all world regions demonstrate.
Furthermore, we are continuously present in Washington D.C. (with the Eileen Galloway Symposium), Vienna (with the IISL/ECSL Symposium at the UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee) and now also in Moscow (with an annual members’ event at RUDN University) and China (with an annual symposium together with the Chinese Society of Astronautics) as well as in Colorado Springs (with special sessions at the Space Symposium). With this, IISL has now achieved a truly global outreach, which is essential for being as inclusive as possible. We are grateful to the members, who initated and organise these activities as Dennis Burnett, Joanne Gabrynowitcz, Olavo Bittencourt, Elina Morozova and Skip Smith.
This inclusiveness shall also be a main theme for this coming year. We are now launching the study group on the different approaches to space law after we have received a lot of interest in this initiative. The work of this study group shall lay the foundation of a better understanding, which perspectives space law has and which – also conflicting – concepts currently are emerging. There could be no better platform for such a study than IISL because of its global membership and expertise. Many more activities will be conducted in 2020 and our colloquia and symposia will tackle issues of high topicality and relevance for governmental and private space activities. IISL is continuously feeling the pulse of space activities and presents views and perspectives on how to create a legal framework, which supports the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space. 60 years into our existence, IISL can say with some confidence that it has for more than half a century convincingly contributed to the rule of law in outer space.