Dubai launches 'space court' to support thriving global sector

Experts to explore legal matters arising from extraterrestrial activities

Dubai International Financial Centre Courts and Dubai Future Foundation launched a Court of Space on Monday. DIFC courts
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A ‘Court of Space’, an official judicial system by which global space disputes will be judged, was launched in Dubai on Monday.

Dubai International Financial Centre Courts and Dubai Future Foundation set up the court to provide legal solutions in commercial-related space disputes. Judges will be trained in resolving space legal disputes.

Zaki Azmi, chief justice of DIFC Courts, said having a specialist judicial system would help the thriving global sector.

“An integrated space industry, supported by human resources, infrastructure and scientific research, is under way,” he said.

“The Courts of Space is a global initiative that will operate in parallel, helping to build a new judicial support network to serve the stringent commercial demands of international space exploration in the 21st century.

“As space commerce becomes ever more global and countries ever more connected, diverse and nimble economies will need to enable growth. Complex commercial agreements will also require an equally innovative judicial system to keep pace, offering assurance and certainty to support and protect businesses.”

Experts at the court will create a Space Dispute Guide that will include proposals for resolving global space-related disputes.

An international team comprising experts and public and private-sector organisations will also explore space-related legal innovations.

Khalfan Belhoul, chief executive of Dubai Future Foundation, said the initiative complemented the UAE’s flourishing space sector.

“Our partnership with the DIFC Courts on the Courts of Space initiative marks yet another step in the UAE’s efforts to expand its nascent space sector,” he said.

“We are committed to exploring and forecasting future trends, testing innovative technologies and, if needed, introducing new legislations and develop existing ones to support our drive in becoming the leading cities of the future.”

Last year, the UAE was the first country in the Middle East region to issue a space law.

The legal framework outlined the responsibilities of carrying out commercial space activities in the country.

It was also launched to help boost local and foreign investment into the UAE from private space companies.