Boost for space law as University of Aberdeen lands specialist academic

The University of Aberdeen Law School has strengthened its long-standing reputation as a centre for space law with a prestigious new academic appointment.

Dr Maria Manoli, who received her PhD from the Institute of Air and Space Law in the Faculty of Law at McGill University, Canada, where she was also former Executive Director, has joined the University as a Lecturer in Space Law. 

In the 1980s, the School was one of the first in the world to incorporate space law into its research and curricula. With the UK space sector now rapidly progressing towards its ambitious target of securing a 10% share of the £400 billion global space market by 2030, the University is investing further in its offering. 

An experienced academic and researcher in her field, Dr Manoli’s work has included projects such as the development of international law for the exploration of space natural resources and for the peaceful uses of outer space. In addition to her time in Canada, she has also worked in the legal and policy sector in the United States and Greece; and has conducted research in international law in many research institutions worldwide.  

In her new role she will focus on developing space law in the curriculum and advancing the School’s research activities. 

“The University of Aberdeen has traditionally occupied an important place in the milieu of Law Schools that offer space law,” said Dr Manoli. 

“Coming from the Institute of Air and Space Law, I was looking for a place with a history in space law that would allow me to focus on my area of expertise and take it a step further, while creating synergies with colleagues in areas such as in the arc of environmental and energy law for which the Law School of Aberdeen is also known worldwide. 

“I am looking forward to continuing the School’s tradition of excellence and advancing the University’s standing in this dynamic field.” 

Head of School Greg Gordon added: “The space industry is moving forward at a very fast pace. Historically the law has focused on the role of states in the use and exploration of space but with an increasing number of private enterprises engaging in space activities it brings a raft of new actors and new needs. 

“It is an exciting time for research in space law and the geopolitics that revolve around it. We are delighted to have someone of Dr Manoli’s experience join us and look forward to providing more opportunities for students to study this vibrant area of the law.”