Law, College of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Space Law 30 (2004), pp. 129-67. Copyright © Journal of Space Law 2004.


The law relating to global navigation satellite systems, (GNSS) is a novel and complex subject. As a result, this paper addresses a considerable number of issues from a new, as of yet untested legal perspective. It will also address a number of altogether new issues which, from a legal perspective, have been dealt with often in other areas of law. Global navigation satellite systems are being used for a very rapidly growing plethora of applications and, thus, also cause a rapidly growing plethora of legal issues to arise. These range from general institutional and jurisdictional ones, to such concrete aspects as certification, security, intellectual property rights and data protection. These issues, moreover, firstly, interplay with each other; secondly, do so at various levels (international/ global, to some extent European, that is European Community, and national); and thirdly, do so in a number of respects across a number of economic sectors, transport and non-transport. To address relevant legal issues, this paper will lay out the essence of a global navigation satellite system, how it basically operates at an abstract and non-technical level, and then will chart specific legal ramifications onto this analysis.