Space Law: A Treatise (2nd ed) Book Review

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It is easy to overlook the law when you can watch a rocket launch before your eyes. There is a significant quantity of international and domestic law applicable to outer space and a number of texts have emerged over the years that attempt to clarify the various obligations that follow these laws. Literature in the field is dominated by the initial works of reputable international law scholars such as Bin Cheng, Stephen Gorove, and Carl Q Christol. These texts are complemented by the
early works of renowned experts such as Manfred Lachs4 that provide wide-ranging, early stage commentary on the status and content of space law, the implications for states, and the intentions of state parties as to how the law was to be formed.

More recently, the modern ‘space lawyer’ has emerged, a professional who splits their time between considering not only international space law, but the impact that law can have on up-and-coming commercial space operations. Academics such as Frans von der Dunk have edited hefty volumes focusing on selected issues in outer space, with von der Dunk’s most recognised work, The Handbook of Space Law, spanning almost 1200 pages...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-477
Number of pages25
JournalAdelaide Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Literary review
  • Space law
  • Francis Lyall
  • Paul B. Larsen


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