C|M|LAW Launches First Space Law Center at a U.S. Law School

Posted 2017-09-20 9:15am

The rapid growth of the private space industry has increased the demand for space lawyers trained in the complex international and domestic aspects of space law and policy.  Cleveland-Marshall College of Law is addressing this need for lawyers trained in space law by launching the Global Space Law Center (GSLC), the first law school research center in the United States dedicated exclusively to the study of the law of outer space.

The Center was founded with the goal of training the next generation of space lawyers, to promote the development of law for the peaceful use of outer space, and to facilitate the growth of the commercial space industry. 

C|M|LAW Professor Mark J. Sundahl will serve as director of the Global Space Law Center.  Sundahl, the Charles R. Emrick Jr.- Calfee, Halter & Griswold Professor of Law, is a leading international space lawyer who has lectured around the world on space law.  He currently serves as the chair of the International Space Policy Working Group of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Committee (the COMSTAC) which advises the FAA on new space regulations.  He is also an advisor to the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.  Between 2006 and 2009, he served as the Assistant Executive Secretary of the International Institute of Space Law.  

“Professor Sundahl is one of the premier experts on space law in the country and there is no one better equipped to develop the Global Space Law Center and prepare students in this rapidly growing field,” said C|M|LAW Dean Lee Fisher.  “We are excited to offer our students a one-of-a-kind educational experience designed to meet the demand of this emerging field.”

The Center will partner with domestic and international organizations to develop internship and employment opportunities for graduates of the Center.

“The creation of this Center reflects the determination of C|M|LAW to find opportunities for its students as business and industry evolves,” according to Sundahl.  “The space industry is undergoing a drastic transformation with the developments of reusable rockets and other new technologies that will reduce the cost of accessing space and, in turn, spur the growth of new companies. C|M|LAW is determined to open these opportunities to our students through education and experiences in the field.”

The Center will launch its first course, Space Law: A Global View, this summer.  The three-hour online course will be open to C|M|LAW students as well as law students, practitioners and space industry executives around the world.  The course will be taught by Professor Sundahl and will feature guest lectures and interviews with thought leaders from government and the space industry.  Details on enrollment in the course will be available this spring.

In addition to the course, the GSLC’s first initiatives include creating an online space law research guide, establishing a research council with the goal of positively influence the development of space law and establishing a weekly blog that will become a must-read for current issues in space law. 

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