The European Centre for Space Law (ECSL) was established in 1989 under the auspices of the European Space Agency (ESA) and with the support of a number of pioneers in this field. It is founded on the basis of a Charter, last amended in 2009.
Current members of the ECSL include professionals working in a wide range of areas within the space sector, lawyers, university professors and students.
Among other things, one of the main objectives of the Centre is to provide a forum for all those wishing to participate in constructive dialogue related to space law, and to encourage interdisciplinary exchange among members.
The ECSL structure is flexible and open. Its General Meeting of Members meets every three years and is open to all ECSL members. This body is responsible for electing the ECSL Board and ensuring that it broadly represents its members both in terms of their professional backgrounds and geographical location.
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 Meeting of Members.
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. All ECSL members - professionals, academics and students - are eligible to nominate themselves for election.
ECSL has a full-time Secretariat. The Executive Secretary, 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 Meeting of Members 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.
2016 Membership fees will be as follows:
€20 for students
€40 for individuals
€500 for corporate membership.