3 mins read 18 Aug 2020

What would it mean to give "Legal Personhood" to the Moon?

18 AUG 2020 | 6:00PM - 7:15PM AEST

Join this live, online event from Australia to hear speakers and experts talk about giving the Moon "Legal Personhood"

Credit: Office of Other Spaces / Moon Village Association.


Join this live, online event to hear eminent speakers & experts in their field talk about the 'NewSpace' industry in the context of giving the Moon 'Legal Personhood'. What would it mean to the space industry if the Moon was a stakeholder in the decision-making process? How would nature have a voice? How would we mine or inhabit the Moon in a sustainable and legally appropriate manner?

The US Executive Order on off-Earth mining, released in April 2020, has sparked an international conversation about Moon mining and the associated ethical, technological, scientific, environmental, and legal issues. Australia has a long history as an international hub for the mining industry, but as an active participant at UN discussions on International Space Law, and as one of only 18 states parties to the 1979 Moon Agreement, it also has a lesser-known but equally important history in the legal stewardship of the Moon. One area that has yet to be explored in a public setting is the idea of granting legal personhood to the Moon, in a similar manner to what is being discussed for wilderness areas on Earth. Such a discussion is of interest to a wide variety of people with an interest in Space, the Moon, environmental science, or commercial activities in Space.

This event will host five space experts, each giving a five-minute presentation to set the scene, followed by a 45-minute public Q&A discussion (moderated by Annie Handmer, University of Sydney) where the audience is encouraged to engage in a dialogue with the speakers. Upon completion of the event, speakers will be further available in breakout sessions to talk with the audience and answer additional questions.

Held out of Newcastle (New South Wales, Australia), this event is being run by the Office of Other Spaces & Satellite Applications Catapult on behalf of the Moon Village Association (MVA) and co-hosted by the Space Junk Podcast.

MVA is a global non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Vienna, fostering cooperation for existing or planned global Moon exploration programs, be they public or private initiatives.

The Space Junk Podcast is an independent conversation-based podcast that seeks to highlight the views and expertise of individuals in a diverse range of Space-related careers.

Join in on-line to add your voice to the lunar dialogue and engage in a conversation with subject-matter experts through the Q&A.

This initiative has been supported by Inspiring Australia as part of National Science Week.

This content has been syndicated from the MVA and Office of the Spaces websites. 


Speakers include:

Donna Lawler, Space Law Specialist

Michelle Maloney, Co-Founder and National Convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA)

A/Prof. Alice Gorman (Dr Space Junk), Space Archaeologist, Advisory Council - Space Industry Association of Australia

Gabriel Harris, Founder and Managing Director of Interchange

Ceridwen Dovey, Essay writer for newyorker.com

Tickets are available on the events management platform, Eventbrite.