October 20, 2020

Space Warfare and International Law: An Update on the Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations


Governments and businesses have come to rely so heavily on outer space that disruption of space infrastructure – for communications, transportation, and finance – could prove devastating for national security, cybersecurity and economic stability.  The possibility of warfare extending to outer space is growing, and the congested and contested nature of outer space also contributes to the fragility of the cooperative use of space. How international law applies to armed conflict in outer space remains unsettled. As a result, there is a risk that a governmental or commercial actor may take action involving outer space that might be misunderstood by others, or even characterized as unlawful. This panel features leading authors of a forthcoming space law manual, “Woomera Manual on Military Space Operations,” which is intended to examine and clarify many of these unresolved legal issues. Panelists will discuss key challenges at the intersection of military operations and space law, the origin story of the “Woomera Manual,” and how key developments in international space law may impact private sector space operations and the business that rely on space based infrastructure.


  • David Simon, Partner, Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Practice, Mayer Brown; Chief Counsel for Cybersecurity & National Security to US Cyberspace Solarium Commission; former Special Counsel, DoD

Panelists: Experts from the Woomera Space Law Manuel

  • Jack Beard, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director, Space, Cyber, and Telecom Law Program, University of Nebraska College of Law; former Associate Deputy General Counsel, DoD Office of General Counsel
  • Melissa de Zwart, Space Industry Association of Australia and Dean of Law and Head of School, Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide
  • Renn Gade, General Counsel, US Defense Intelligence Agency

Date & Time
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. EDT

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