The European Centre for Space Law (ECSL) was established in 1989 at the initiative of the European Space Agency and with the support of a number of pioneers in this field.
Members of ECSL include professionals working in the space sector, lawyers, university professors and students. The Centre provides a forum for all those wishing to take part in constructive debates on space law and encourages interdisciplinary exchange between members.
Although there are a number of initiatives concerning space law within Europe, these tend to be isolated and scattered. ECSL aims to bridge the gaps and bring the different initiatives together.
The ECSL structure is flexible and open. Its General Assembly meets every three years and is open to all ECSL members. This body is responsible for electing the ECSL Board and ensuring that it represents the professions and countries of its members.
Members of the ECSL Board are nationals of ESA Member States, Associate States or other European countries with a cooperation agreement with ESA. They are elected for a period of three years by the General Assembly.
ECSL Board Members have a background and considerable experience in space law, and are actively involved in promoting the aims of ECSL at national and international level.
ECSL has a full-time Secretariat. The Executive Secretary, who is based at ESA's headquarters in Paris, is responsible for the management and promotion of the Centre’s activities.
Citizens of ESA Member States or countries with cooperative agreements with ESA can become members of ECSL upon payment of a small annual fee.
Membership gives the right to participate in ECSL activities, to vote at the General Assembly and to receive certain ECSL publications. ECSL membership is valid for one year (Jan-Dec) and is renewable on an annual basis.
Currently, an important part of ECSL’s funding is provided by ESA. Other institutions can provide support for specific events such as the Summer Course.
From January 1994, ECSL members have been requested to pay a small annual membership fee of €20 for students, €40 for professionals and €200 for companies.