The Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics at the Adelaide Law School (RUMLAE) has been established to examine legal and policy issues relevant to military and security matters with a particular focus on ethical aspects relevant to the use of force.
Space affects many aspects of our day to day life. Access to and use of the space environment is regulated by international and domestic laws. These laws are complex, contested and tested to breaking point by developments in both new developments in commercial space and increased military uses of space. The Adelaide Law School, through its Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics (RUMLAE), is working across a variety of space practice areas exploring the opportunities and limitations that current legal regimes have for civilian and military operators. Our researchers explore the development of law applicable to and the responsibilities accompanying activities in outer space, focusing on the practical implications of outer space on existing legal instruments and the impact that the rule of law has on operators in the military, commercial and civil space industries. Simultaneously Adelaide Law School is engaging tertiary students of all levels in this field, including courses addressing strategic space law, engagement with international experts in the MILAMOS project, participation in the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot and international study tours.
The Adelaide Law School is engaged in a number of key international partnerships including the McGill Institute of Air and Space Law (Canada) and The University of Nebraska (USA) to deliver postgraduate programs targeted at both specialist military personnel and the broader legal community. Focused on the strategic components of space operations, the application of the use of force and law of war to activities and operational considerations in outer space, these postgraduate courses have been incredibly popular. In relation to the program with McGill the strategic Space Law course is hosted in alternate years in Adelaide and Montreal, Canada, and now has also been modified for an undergraduate audience. The Adelaide Law School also delivers operational law courses to Defence (civilian and military) personnel in Australia and internationally.
Academic staff are the leading experts in the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS) project to explore the law applicable to military operations in outer space, to define the current parameters of outer space warfare and the legality of military actions in the space environment. Adelaide Law School, through its Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics is a key partner with Project Ploughshares, McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law, Space Policy Institute George Washington University, The Simons Foundation and the School of Law, Xi’ian Jiaotong University in the Annual Space Security Index which provides law and policy makers with a comprehensive, up to date and accessible knowledge base to support the development of national and international policies that contribute to the security and sustainability of outer space.
Commercial and Civil
The Adelaide Law School actively engages with a variety of actors in the commercial and civil space industries, advising on areas of liability, operation and commercial efficacy. Academic staff and students of the Law School participate in a number of national and international organisations centred on outer space, the development of outer space and promotion of outer space for peaceful purposes.
They also sit at the cutting edge of evolving legal regimes, continually reviewing new legislation domestically and internationally to determine the impacts on commercial and civil operations. Work has included submissions to government reviews and academic works in addition to participation in industry forums, providing legally grounded feedback on the implications of statutory implements and consideration of the future role of Woomera. Staff are also members of key space policy organisations.