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Sunday, September 12, 2004

Headed To Mars? Pack Your Lawyer!

The ranks of obscure yet cool international competitions just continue to grow. If I were you I'd start waxing up the Bambi, because an October Canada road trip is too tantalizing to pass up with these decorating the calendar:

First stop Vancouver, for the 55th Annual Astronautical Congress, October 4 - 8. (I certainly hope someone will be blogging this, as my travels those dates will take me no further than San Francisco.) As if an Astronautical Congress weren't fascinating enough in its own right, this one also features the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition. Just for fun, I took a look at the problem for next year's competition (Case Concerning International Liability, Deltastan v Gammaland), and it has all the action of a Ben Affleck/Bruce Willis/Liv Tyler blockbuster: "Twenty-three thousand miles of Super String then began to reenter the atmosphere. ..." Reviewing a science fictional legal fact pattern has a real "through the looking glass" quality; things are familiar, but you've clearly landed elsewhere. Last year, the University of Auckland beat Georgetown to take home the trophy. Their topic: "Commercial exploitation of celestial bodies and related issues." So what does next month hold in store? Time will tell, but the problem concerns "Commercialisation of a Space Station." (Spotted on Aerospace.)

Next stop Toronto, for the 2004 International Rock Paper Scissors Championships, October 16, about which you presumably already are well-versed.

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