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IES takes part in the debate on current legal issues for satellite earth observation

European Space Policy Institute, 8-9 April 2010, Vienna
9 April 2010

IES takes part in the debate on current legal issues for satellite earth observation - ImageOn 8 and 9 April, IES Chairman Wouter Veening and Project Assistant Jonathan Solomon, attended a conference on Current Legal Issues for Satellite Earth Observation. The event, hosted by The European Space Policy Institute in Vienna and organised in collaboration with ISPRS, IAA and IISL, was aimed to draw the attention of experts and practitioners from the legal and scientific community on this important issue.

Eminent speakers from Europe, the U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia joined the debate articulated around two main points: treaty monitoring and law enforcement through satellite earth observation and privacy conflicts from high resolution imaging.

Starting with the investigation into the interface between technical potentials, key drivers of increased data exploitation and the conducted case studies for the practical transfer to the jurisdiction, speakers then continued with a detailed description of the GMES programme of the European Commission and the programmes related to treaty monitoring and security in crisis situations. The audience?s attention was then brought to the GMOSS network supporting the Kimberly process on illegal extraction of natural resources for conflict prevention, supporting i.e. the UN Security Council, and related EU-policy framework that describes remote sensing from the perspective of the political agenda.

The issue of privacy was further analysed in the light of the relevance of EC Law and the European Convention of Human Rights as a baseline for privacy conflicts with high-resolution imaging.

In concluding, the conference developed recommendations with regard to the use of satellite data in a wide range of juridical aspects. As Wouter Veening underlined 'the unique setting of bringing together the technical and legal community at the fore front of research and application of satellite imaging provided great opportunities for future cooperation. The gained experience and connections had its impact on the proceedings of the Hague Environmental Law Facility workshop on remote sensing for legal compliance that takes place on the 20th of April in the capital of peace and justice.'

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