The UK Perspective on Informed Consent in Commercial Space Travel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Space Industry Act 2018 imposes requirements that operators of spaceflight activities obtain informed consent from individuals taking part in spaceflight activities. The Act contains no further guidance on this matter other than an indication that regulations will determine the ultimate scope of this provision. Is the definition of ‘informed consent’ within the spaceflight context to be synonymous with ‘informed consent’ in the English Medical Law context? If so, these contrasting regimes are likely to be incompatible in terms of their goal and purpose. Moreover, the United States regime, if roughly copied or imported wholesale would likewise be at odds with the position in English Medical Law. Furthermore, the present law on warnings in the context of Occupiers Liability and the rules relating to participation in dangerous sporting activities may serve to negate consent in any case, regardless of how well-intentioned or balanced the ultimate regime may prove to be. The logical position for the UK regulator (or legislator) would be to create a fresh regime of informed consent for commercial spaceflight purposes which falls categorically outside the medical law context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-390
Number of pages24
JournalAir & Space Law
Volume45
Issue number4/5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Space Law

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