• Class Number 4684
  • Term Code 3150
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Cassandra Steer
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 05/07/2021
  • Class End Date 03/09/2021
  • Census Date 16/07/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 06/07/2021
SELT Survey Results

We are at a key moment in history both nationally and internationally in terms of the expansion of in human activity in outer space and the legal and governance issues this brings with it. While many are not fully cognisant of it, our 21st century interactions and movements are already highly dependent upon outer space. This course provides a critical overview of the issues we face today and in the coming decades, with an emphasis on Australia's role in the global space sector, and our potential leadership in shaping international norms.


Our current international space governance regime is a product of the Cold War and the dawn of the space age, however today’s multi-polar geopolitical world no longer operates with those power relations. We are also entering an age of commerce-based space politics, disruptive technologies and disruptive business models, all of which puts pressures on domestic law-makers in the governance of space activities. Concerns such as environmental responsibility, equitable access to space-based technologies, the weaponisation, commercialisation and (de)colonisation of space, will all be covered. Students will be asked to reflect upon their role as planetary citizens, and on the need for a model of 21st century space governance that is ethically responsible.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Synthesise and review the international legal framework governing space activities.
  2. Interrogate and critique existing legal and governance responses to the problems of space debris and space traffic management
  3. Reflect critically on the legal ramifications of military and security activities in outer space
  4. Examine and appraise the domestic and international legal principles and rules applicable to Australian commercial space operators
  5. Contribute to legal and governance debates on access to space, colonisation or decolonisation of space, and democratisation of space
  6. Research and propose, in written or oral form, ways in which Australia can take a lead in solving one of the legal and/or governance issues discussed throughout the course

Research-Led Teaching

Dr Steer has published widely on issues of space law, space security and space policy. She has contributed to the formation of Australian Space Agency and Australian Department of Defence policies and strategies, and consulted to the Canadian and US Departments of Defense on space issues. The core themes dealt with in this course are related to her research, and the critical perspectives introduced in the literature for this course come from her own publications and those upon which she leans for her research.

Examination Material or equipment

Internet access is required, as the classes will be delivered via Zoom, and the blog posts will be submitted by students to the online blog that will be created for the purposes of this course.

Required Resources

No required text-book for this course.

An e-brick will be available in the Wattle site.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the current Grading Distribution Policy has been suspended pending the development of a new policy. For further information about the interim policy please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements and updates relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 From launch to orbit: Why space matters
2 The International space law framework
3 Our natural environment: space debris and space situational awareness
4 Space security and space arms control
5 The 21st Century Space Age: Space diplomacy and collaboration
6 Democratisation or colonisation? Free use, equity and the province of humankind
7 Australia in space: Domestic space law
8 NewSpace: Non-State actors and uncertainties in space law
9 The Moon and Beyond: Future challenges for space law and governance

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Weekly Quizzes 15 % * * 1,2,3
Contributions to Online Blog 25 % * 23/07/2021 1,4,5,6
Research Paper 60 % 16/08/2021 17/09/2021 1,2,3,4,5,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Active participation in all seminars and tutorials is expected. Students are expected to have watched the pre-recorded lectures before each class, and to have read the prescribed materials in the e-brick.

For all courses taught in any mode (whether face to face or online), the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the graduate program. Students are expected to attend all classes.

If circumstances arise which are beyond a student’s control and they are unable to attend a class, the student should contact the Course Convenor in advance (where possible), so that the convenor can adjust their expectations in relation to numbers for that class. If it is not possible to give advance notice, students should send the convenor an email as soon as possible with evidence to support the reason for failure to attend. 

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Weekly Quizzes

Weighting: 15%

Details of Task: There will be three quizzes, each worth 5%. At the end of each week, students must answer a quiz consisting of 10 multiple choice questions to be completed within 20 minutes. The questions will focus on knowledge gained in the previous week of the course. 

Nature of the task: Compulsory. Failure to participate will result in 0 marks for this task. If you experience unavoidable and extenuating circumstances and cannot sit the quiz at the due date and time, you should apply for an extension to the College of Law student admin team here:



The College will give you one opportunity to sit the quiz, at the same time one week later. This will be your final opportunity to sit the quiz. 

Release: Friday 9th, 16th and 23rd July via Wattle. This is a timed test which students will have 20 minutes to complete. Students can start the quiz anytime until 5pm the following Monday. 

Due: Monday 12th, 19th and 26th respectively, by 5pm via WATTLE. Submissions after the due date will not be accepted.

Estimated return date: Once all students have sat the quiz.

Assessment Criteria: N/A


Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Return of Assessment: 23/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5,6

Contributions to Online Blog

Brief Description: Each student will contribute two blog posts: one of 700 words and one of 1,000 words each to an online blog established for the purposes of this course.

Nature of Task: The blog posts must tackle an issue related to the course materials, and can be a response to a relevant event in the news. The writing must be normative, presenting an argument or recommendation. Examples of blogs and op-eds will be provided as models. This task is designed to develop the skill of writing succinctly and analytically for a wide, informed audience.

Weighting: 25%

Word Limit: 1 x 700; 1 x 1000 words. ANU College of Law penalties apply for late submissions or exceeding the word limit.

Due date: The first blog post will be due by Monday July 12th, the second by Friday July 16th.

Estimated return date: A grade and some verbal feedback will be provided for the first blog post by Friday July 16th, for the second blog posts by Friday July 23rd.

Assessment Criteria: A rubric will be made available on Wattle. Students will be expected to read each other's blog posts and discuss the content during tutorials.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 16/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 17/09/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Research Paper

Brief Description: Individual research paper on a topic chosen by the student, related to one of the themes of the course.

Nature of Task: The writing must be normative, providing arguments and/or legal and policy recommendations. The paper must draw from some course materials, and must also demonstrate original research. The paper must be written according to the AGLC. ANU College of Law penalties apply for late submissions or exceeding the word limit.

Weighting: 60%

Word Limit: 4,000 words.

Due date: 5pm Monday , 16th August 2021

Estimated return date: The grade for the paper will be provided when the final course grade is released, by 17 September 2021.

Assessment Criteria: A rubric will be made available on Wattle. Each paper will receive written or recorded verbal feedback.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Cassandra Steer
02 6125 8446

Research Interests

Space law, space policy, space security, international law, comparative law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law

Dr Cassandra Steer

Monday 14:30 16:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions