The Space Court Foundation, Inc For Immediate Release
A 501(c)(3) Pennsylvania Educational Non-Profit Corporation
December 5, 2018
(Mercer County, PA): The Board of Directors is pleased to formally announce the launch of The Space Court Foundation, Inc. (SCF). SCF is a registered 501(c)(3) Pennsylvania Educational Nonprofit Corporation led by Co-founder and Chair of the Board of Directors, Christopher M. Hearsey, Co-Founder and Vice-Chair Nathan Johnson, Christopher J. Tkach, Joyeeta Chatterjee, and Jessica Noble. Mr. Johnson also serves as Executive Director and Mr. Hearsey serves as Secretary and Treasurer of SCF.
“The Space Court Foundation manages two major programs. The first program we call the Space Court Law Library (SCLL). The Space Court Law Library will be an opensource reference for primary law sources that govern as well as touch and concern space activities. The SCLL will be a web-based reference site and home to the most complete repository of primary source legal documents related to all national and international space law, private and public,” says Founder and Board of Director’s Chair, Chris Hearsey. “In phase one of the project, we will compile and tag materials that have already been donated to the Foundation and will continue to build the website with the help of partner organizations. Phase two will introduce secondary source citations within the text based primary source materials. For example, on our website you will be able to highlight a phrase or term like ‘jurisdiction and control’ in the Outer Space Treaty and see top rated scholarly articles,definitions, comparative legal text, and eventually non-English materials.”
The Space Court Foundation is funded by SCF’s second program, a YouTube space law series called Stellar Decisis. The show is a collaboration between SCF and producer John Michael Godier on his self-titled channel in conjunction with the educational organization Enterprise in Space led by Shawn Case. As of December 2018, John Michael Godier has produced over 300 episodes and currently has over 130,000 subscribers between his two channels. Together, SCF is producing ten, one-hour episodes keyed to space law themes like space resources, crime, law of armed conflict,immigration, space debris, and sovereignty. The show will also produce two specials, one celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings and one covering the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition and the IAC in Washington, DC.
As Mr. Hearsey explains, “The premise of the show is that in the near future there is sufficient activity in space such that countries have created a separate permanent court to handle all claims arising from space activities. There are three courts we will introduce in the series: State against State, private against private, and mixed claims arbitration. Each one-hour episode contains a host introduction, an ‘argued case’ before the court, a panel of experts to discuss the episode’s theme and ‘argued case’, and concluding remarks. We are currently in production and post-production is scheduled to conclude in April 2019. The series will be released soon thereafter in installments through year’s end.”
Nathan Johnson, Co-Founder and Executive Director, adds “We intend to support both public international and space law moot court competitions to promote the rule of law, legal education, and young professionals under a diverse Board of Advisors. Our objective is to provide students, researchers,lawyers, and lay people a means by which to understand space law and how we can expect space-based disputes could arise and be adjudicated – even on Mars!”
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