In what promises to be a historic visit for Israel, three judges from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague have announced their planned participation in the prestigious Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, a centerpiece of the annual colloquium held by the International Institute for Space Law (IISL) as part of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in October, 2015. The IAC, hosted by the Israel Space Agency, will welcome the participation of over 3,000 guests including the heads of all the major space agencies and leading researchers and space policy makers.
Among the attendees will be Judge Peter Tomka of Slovakia, Judge Dalveer Bhandari of India and Judge Kirill Gevorgian of Russia; all judges on the International Court of Justice. They will preside over a special model session of the Court on the topic of “international space law.”
The world finals of the moot court will take place October 15, 2015, at the Hebrew University and will be opened by the Vice President of Israel’s Supreme Court, Justice Elyakim Rubenstein followed by Prof. Tomer Broude Vice-Dean of the Law Faculty at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The proceedings will welcome the participation of law students, each of whom are winners of regional competitions in North America, Africa, Europe and the Asia Pacific region, debating a series of topics related to law and space. The subject of the debate concerns a proposed scenario whereby an asteroid headed for earth is intentionally diverted by one nation into international air space where it explodes. The shock wave produces damage in a second nation. The hearing will address how liability is determined and how damages are to be assessed and awarded.
This will be the 24th successive year that this program will be taking place under the aegis of the IISL. In a prior meeting with then Israeli President Shimon Peres in The Hague, Judge Tomka said, “The relations with Israel are of great importance to us all and Israel has contributed a great deal to our global dialogue on issues of international law.”
The IAC will take place October 12-16th at the International Convention Center – Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem and will include 30 top-level symposia and over 2,000 additional presentations. Attendance is expected by participants from 70 nations with special attention to Israel’s contribution to the advancement of space as well as enabling guests to appreciate the unique history and society of Jerusalem.