A Space Odyssey to the University Of Sunderland

A Space Odyssey to the University Of Sunderland

Released: Monday 15th March 2010 at 00:00

The University of Sunderland's Law Department is boldly going where no UK law school has gone before.  From 2010 it will offer space law as part of its undergraduate law degree.

The university decided to leap into the final frontier of the legal system because space law is rapidly expanding in scope and importance. 

Space law covers the law relating to space activities and outer space. With the increasing interest in journeys into space by individuals, the militarisation of space, expanding privatisation of the space sector and what that means for legal system boundaries, problems concerning debris from space vehicles damaging property and the legal aspects of buying lunar real estate, legislation is having to take a giant leap to address specific space law issues. 

Viv Kinnaird, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Sunderland is delighted that the new module has been validated to begin in the new academic year 2010. She said:  "Our law degree already attracts huge praise for the quality of its teaching and the outstanding experience students enjoy. 

"The space law module illustrates our commitment to deliver a distinctive law degree.  It is a fascinating topic which many students will benefit from studying. Their motivation and engagement, in our experience, translates directly into positive results."

The new third year course will include topics such as property issues, militarisation, telecommunications, intellectual property, regulatory, environment and export control.

Ben Middleton will teach the subject to University of Sunderland law students.  He said: "It's great that Sunderland is leading the way in the UK for space law as part of an undergraduate law degree. We expect it to be an extremely popular module."

Law lecturer Chris Newman will lead the space law module.  He said:  "This is a hugely exciting area which, despite being a relatively young aspect of law, is set to grow significantly in the future. Its relevance across commercial, company, property, environmental, intellectual property and IT practice sectors means it offers valuable knowledge in a fascinating area."

The space law module will sit along other distinctive modules for year three LLB students at Sunderland such as crime and terrorism and law and sexuality. 

The University of Sunderland's law department has won a clutch of prestigious national awards.  Sunderland was named as the best new University in the country for studying law by The Guardian in 2008.   Law at Sunderland was also ranked first in the UK for student satisfaction by the Times University Guide 2008. It has just been ranked first in the UK in the 2009 National Student Survey for five of seven aspects of final year programmes.  Sunderland was the only law department in 2009 to achieve a 100% satisfaction score in the survey.

Space law will be taught at the University of Sunderland as part of the LLB undergraduate degree from Autumn term 2010.

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