In December 2020, a New Year essay competition for students from universities of Russia and other CIS countries was held to foster interest in space law during the pandemic. The competition replaced a traditional all-Russian meeting for IISL members and friends, which could not be convened last year due to the Covid-19-related restrictions. The organization of the competition was provided by IISL Board member Elina Morozova and IISL individual member Yaroslav Vasyanin with the support of IISL institutional member RUDN University (Russia).

Students were asked to describe a legal problem that humanity may face in the near or distant future in carrying on space activities and suggest a possible solution within the framework of international law. In total, the competition received several dozen essays from students of universities in Russia and Belarus.

For a comprehensive objective assessment of the essays, local legal practitioners in the field of space law and representatives of the academic community were invited to serve as judges. Among them were IISL members Maksim AlekseevIrina ChernykhVictoria KicheninaKsenia Shestakova, and Olga Volynskaya.

Based on the jury assessment, the winner was Aleksandr Nanov (Moscow) for an essay titled ‘Life and death in outer space: can terrestrial law protect extraterrestrial life?’. The second place was taken by Alina Stavtsova (St. Petersburg) for an essay on current legal issues of suborbital flights. The third place went to Alexey Yanchenko (Moscow) with an essay on the possible legal regime of the utilization of space resources. Finally, the fourth place, which was additionally organized due to the minimal gap with the top three, was given to Violetta Roslova (Chelyabinsk) for an essay on possible means of preventing the spread of an arms race into outer space. Several other essays were noted by the judges for the relevance of the topic and a good overall level.

The authors of the best essays have received invitations to join the Institute as prospective members with their nominations supported by Kai-Uwe Schrogl, IISL President. The awardees will also receive memorable ‘space’ gifts.
 The Institute joins in congratulating the winners and thanks all participants and judges for their contribution to strengthening the rule of law in outer space!
Categories: 2020AwardsCompetition