Who owns Outer Space? Could Elon Musk become President of Mars? How would one negotiate a treaty with aliens? Space is becoming a very busy place, with 90 orbital launches occurring in 2017 alone. Many of the governance challenges that currently exist on Earth will soon exist in Space. Yet the unique conditions of Space, including extremes of danger, distance and time, will necessarily require fundamental changes to the conduct of international relations and the content of international law. This talk is the preview of a series that Michael Byers will co-convene at Green College in 2019-20 on issues arising from the colonization of Outer Space. He will also give the Brenda and David McLean Lectures in Canadian Studies next term (at Green College), which are to be entitled “Cold, Dark, and Dangerous: The Arctic and Outer Space.”
Michael Byers holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia. His work focuses on Outer Space, the Arctic, climate change, armed conflict, and Canadian foreign and defence policy. Dr. Byers has been a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, and a Professor of Law at Duke University. He has also taught as a visiting professor at the Universities of Cape Town, Tel Aviv, Nord (Norway) and Novosibirsk (Russia). Dr. Byers is the author, most recently, of International Law and the Arctic (Cambridge University Press), which won the 2013 Donner Prize. He is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail newspaper.