The Future of Commercial Space Law and Regulation

4th Symposium on Critical Issues in Aviation Law

University of Mississippi School of Law
Oxford, MS
14 September 2011


Materials Available

Agenda (pdf) | Speaker Biographies (pdf) | Res Communis Blog Report


Event Overview

Welcoming remarks were given by Dean Richard Gershon, Dean of the University of Mississippi School of Law and Prof. Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, Director of the National Center for Remote Sensing Air and Space Law. Prof. Jacqueline Serrao, Associate Director of the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law, introduced the the symposium. She stated that the theme of the 4th Symposium was aviation safety, which is the key to a vibrant and successful airline industry.

The first speaker was Robert V. Combs, assistant General Counsel at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (and an Ole Miss Law alum!). He gave a brief overview of the functions of the NTSB, and how it conducts it's accident investigations. Broadly, he addressed the issues of the transparency of the NTSB, how the use of NTSB documents can affect criminal prosecutions, and how the risk of criminal prosecutions affects accident investigations.

The next speaker was Jeffrey Klang, Regional Counsel, Great Lakes Region of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Klang addressed the FAA's role in aviation safety. He discussed the numerous ways that the FAA performs its regulatory functions and the lawyer's role in these procedures.

The final speaker was Chad Medders, a third year law student at the University of Mississippi School of Law. His presentation focused on his research with Prof. Serrao into the aviation laws and regulations in Somaliland. He discussed the problems of researching foreign laws and in particular the difficulties applicable to researching the laws of Somaliland. After a brief overview of the history of Somaliland, he discussed the issue of Somaliland's unclear international status. Finally, he discussed the aviation infrastructure and regulatory needs of the region.

The presentations were followed by a question and answer session.