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The Project

The Cologne Commentary on Space Law (CoCoSL) comprises a three-volume, provision-by-provision Commentary on the five United Nations treaties on outer space and the five major UN General Assembly Resolutions. The CoCoSL project was launched in January 2007, marking the fiftieth anniversary of space flight as well as the fortieth anniversary of international outer space legislation. Between 2009 and 2015, its three volumes were published by the Carl Heymanns Publishing House. Since 2017, spin-off translation projects have resulted in a Russian, a Chinese, a Arabic, a Spanish and a Bengali translation of Volume I, as well as a Russian translations of Volume II and selected Chapters of Volume III. The Russian and Spanish translations are also available as E-Books. 

As a joint undertaking of the Institute of Air and Space Law of the University of Cologne and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the commentary brings together the scientific and academic proficiency of the Institute and the practical and technical capacity of DLR. It provides a critical analysis of the evolution of the written norms of space law, current developments in the field, relevant State practice, and perspectives for the future. With this, the Cologne Commentary on Space Law constitutes essential reading for all academics, practitioners and technicians working in the field of space law and beyond.

Volume I of CoCoSL provides an Article-by-Article commentary on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. Contributing authors were especially urged to elaborate on the current issues in the field, as well as the practical applicability of the law at present and in the future. Volume I of CoCoSL was published in 2009.

Volumes II and III respectively comment upon the other four United Nations Treaties on Outer Space, and the relevant United Nations General Assembly Resolutions.

All contributions have been reviewed by the editors of CoCoSL, which comprise of

  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dr. h.c. Stephan Hobe, LL.M. (McGill): Director, Institute of Air Law, Space Law and Cyber Law, University of Cologne
  • Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schmidt-Tedd: Space Administration/UN Affairs, German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Schrogl: European Space Agency (ESA)
  • Dr. Gérardine Goh and Dr. Peter Stubbe as assistant editors for Volume I and Volumes II and III, respectively.

Additionally, a Scientific Advisory Board of highly distinguished lawyers and legal practitioners has been established to oversee the scientific standards of the Commentary. Its members included:

  • Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel, Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany
  • Prof. Jonathan Galloway, Burlington, Vermont, USA
  • Judge Gilbert Guillaume, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
  • Prof. Peter P.C. Haanappel, Leiden, Netherlands
  • Ambassador Dr. Peter Jankowitsch, Vienna, Austria
  • Dr. Nandasiri Jasentuliyana, Corona Hills, California, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Vladimír Kopal, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Judge Abdul Koroma, The Hague, Netherlands
  • Dr. Gabriel Lafferranderie, Paris, France
  • Prof. José Monserrat Filho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Judge Vladlen Vereshchetin, The Hague, Netherlands

Additional Information
Treaty Status

For the latest status of the treaties on space law, please visit the UNOOSA website on the Status of International Agreements relating to Activities in Outer Space.