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Since 2001, the Institute for International Legal Studies of the National Research Council (ISGI) is the Italian NPOC of the ECSL, as a continuance of the Italian Centre for Space Law, set up in 1992. The Institute is a branch of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), with its headquarters in Rome(www.isgi.cnr.it). Sergio Marchisio, professor of Law at the University Sapienza of Rome, is responsible, as Director of the Institute, of the activities of the Italian NPOC.

The Italian NPOC acts as an interface between ECSL and people interested in space law in Italy; its main aim is to spread the knowledge of space law and build up a network of academicians and professionals. It traditionally focuses its work on four aspects: (1) participation in the ECSL initiatives; (2) setting up of educational programmes and training courses; (3) consultancy and collaboration with national and international institutions; (4) carrying out of research activities.

1.Participation in the ECSL initiatives

The Institute has been always active in organizing events in collaboration with ECSL. We can mention, among them, the
• Perugia Colloquium on "The Role of International Organizations in Space Law and their Contributions" at the University of Perugia (May 1999, with publication of the Proceedings);

-• European Round of the Moot Court Competition at the "Centro di Studi Gentiliani" and the University of Macerata (May 2003);

-• Workshop on “New Trends in Space Law” at the University of Macerata (May 2003);

-• Summer Course on Space Law and Policy at the University of Perugia/Terni (September 2005);

-• Summer Course on Space Law and Policy at the University of Genoa (September 2008) in cooperation with the Faculty of Political Sciences, Chair of International and European Law (Professor F. Munari).

>The Italian NPOC co-operates with the ECSL through the participation of its members in the ECSL meetings, boards, workshops, Summer courses, Moot Court and Practitioners’ Forum. Members of the Italian NPOC, both academics and professionals, participate in the ECSL initiatives as lecturers, speakers and judges of the Moot Court Competition. They are also active in the events organised by ECSL in cooperation with other institutions, such as the yearly IISL-ECSL Symposium on Space Law at the Legal Subcommittee Session in Vienna.

Organisation of a Summer Course The Italian NPOC spreads the information concerning the ECSL Summer Course, and selects the interested Italian students as a channel between the ECSL and the Italian Universities.

Participation in the European Round of the Moot Court Competition The Italian NPOC facilitates the participation of the Italian teams in the European Round of the Manfred Lachs Moot Court Competition. In 2009, a team from the University of Genoa, trained by Prof. C. Golda, participated in the European Semi Finals in Athens. A member of the team was awarded as the “best oralist”.

Editing of the Book on Astronauts

The Italian NPOC worked together with ECSL for the editing of the book on Astronauts and Rescue Agreement 1968-2008. Lessons Learned.

2.Educational programmes and training courses

Space Law is usually a part of the curricula in several Italian Faculties of Law and Political Sciences. Courses on Space law are given at graduate and post-graduate level either as an autonomous subject (Sapienza University of Rome, Padua and Genoa) or within the courses on International Law or Law of International Organizations (University of Milan).

Post-graduate courses

At post-graduate level, the Italian NPOC provides a course on Space Law within the curriculum of the School on Air and Space Medicine at Sapienza University of Rome.

Master in “Space Institutions and Policies”

Starting 2009, the ISGI, as the Italian NPOC, organizes a Master in “Space Institutions and Policies”, in cooperation with the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI). The Master is aimed at providing specialized qualification and professional training in the field of space institutions and policies, in particular, in the legal, political and economic disciplines related to the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space. Lectures are given also by foreign speakers, including ECSL members’. At the end of the course, students follow a three months stage within national or international institutions or private companies.

Degree and Doctoral Thesis

Several degree and doctoral thesis in the field of space law, discussed in Italian Universities, at Law and Political Sciences Faculties, are supervised by members of the Italian NPOC. A member of the Italian NPOC is also involved in the doctoral Committee on Space Law of the Leyden University (Prof. E. Back Impallomeni).

3. Consultancy and collaboration within national and international institutions

The Italian NPOC has become over the years the main point of reference in the field of space law for national institutions, such the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Space Agency, and international organizations having their headquarters in Italy, such as UNIDROIT.

Collaboration with the Italian Foreign Ministry

The Italian NPOC cooperates with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the draft EU Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities. Firstly conceived as a Food for thought paper circulated by Italy within the United Nations Conference on Disarmament (March 2007), the drafty EU Code of Conduct, approved by the European Union's Council in December 2008, is aimed at codifying new confidence building measures and strengthening existing best practices. ISGI cooperates with the MFA also on COPUOS issues and other space law matters, such as the Italian National Registry for space objects.

Attendance of the COPUOS sessions

The Italian NPOC continues to attend the COPUOS’s sessions of the Legal Subcommittee, providing members of the Italian official delegation. It follows also the work of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, in particular the Working Group for the development of a draft Safety Framework for nuclear power sources in outer space.

Collaboration with UNIDROIT

ISGI is actively involved in the process concerning the finalization of the UNDROIT draft Protocol on Space Assets to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment. A cooperation agreement between the Italian NPOC and UNIDROIT was concluded in 2001. Prof. S. Marchisio is currently President of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts negotiating the draft Protocol, which held three sessions in Rome from 2003 to 2009 (third session from 7 to 17 December 2009). A fourth Session is scheduled in May 2010.

4.Research activities

>The Italian NPOC also promotes scientific research in the field of space law. Current issues of interests are: Art. IX of the OST, the clauses concerning space matters in the Lisbon Treaty, the proposed Italian Space Legislation, legal aspects of Cosmos Sky-Med remote sensing activities, the revised Framework for nuclear power sources in Outer Space, the legal regime of the Malindi base.

Short term mobility at ECSL

A Member of the Italian NPOC is carrying out a research involving the ECSL and UNESCO concerning the legal aspects of the use of remote sensing for the preservation of World Heritage sites, focused on the projects carried out within the framework of the ESA-UNESCO joint initiative on the monitoring of the mentioned sites using space technology.

For more information:


Institute for International Legal Studies, ISGI - CNR

Via dei Taurini 19

00185 Roma, Italy


Tel: +390649937667

Fax: +390644340025


Ms. Viviana Iavicoli

Tel: +390649937661

E-mail :viviana.iavicoli@isgi.cnr.it
Last update: 21 February 2011


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