Air and Space Law Curriculum

Master of Laws in Air and Space Law Curriculum

A student may be awarded an LL.M. by earning 26 credits and satisfying the following requirements:

  1. Successful completion of 4 core courses (12 credit hours) and 2 elective courses (6 credit hours);
  2. Successful completion of 8 Master’s thesis credits supporting a Master’s thesis; and
  3. Successful completion of a Master’s thesis constituting a publishable work of 30,000 words in length.
Core courses Elective courses
Public International Air Law Comparative National Space Law
Private International Air Law International Aviation Financing and Leasing Law
International Space Law International Telecommunications Law
Either US National Aviation Law or US National Space Law Space Security Law
Remote Sensing Law
U.S. National Aviation Law
U.S. Domestic Space Law

Master’s Thesis Credits

In addition to course credits, students will earn 8 Master’s thesis credits for independent research conducted on their thesis topics. Topics will be approved in advance by a supervisor, who will guide students in development and research of thesis topics and provide support and critical assessments of the thesis project.

Master’s Thesis

A Masters thesis is 30,000-word project, including abstract, footnotes and bibliography, that provides a substantial analytical contribution to current academic discourse on a topic or to novel concepts or practices. The thesis must demonstrate substantial knowledge, intellectual curiosity, critical argument, and scholarly ambition and it must clearly articulate theoretical and methodological approaches to the research and writing.


Graduate Certificate in Air and Space Law Curriculum

Students may be awarded a Graduate Certificate by earning 12 credit hours in air and/or space law courses: 2 core courses (6 credit hours); and 2 elective courses (6 credit hours). The Graduate Certificate Program can be tailored to address aviation law, space law or both, in the following manner:

Core Courses (Students select two)

  1. International Space Law
  2. Public International Air Law
  3. U.S. Domestic Space Law
  4. U.S. National Aviation Law

Elective Courses (Students select two)

  1. Comparative National Space Law
  2. International Aviation Financing and Leasing Law
  3. International Space Law
  4. International Telecommunications Law
  5. Private International Air Law
  6. Public International Air Law
  7. Space Security Law
  8. Remote Sensing Law
  9. U.S. National Aviation Law
  10. U.S. Domestic Space Law

Air and Space Law Course Descriptions

Comparative National Space Law (3 credit hours)
This course surveys the national regulatory frameworks governing space activities, with a particular focus on the legal frameworks that govern private and governmental entities engaged in commercial space activities.  Activities addressed at the national or regional level include discussions on national space authorities, supranational bodies, and licensing schemes and operation requirements for launching, remote sensing and telecommunications. The course provides students with a thorough knowledge of the myriad legal issues involved in space activities, including State obligations under the UN treaties, international law, private international law, and national space laws and policies.

International Space Law (3 credit hours)
This course provides an overview of current international space law in U.N. resolutions and treaties and customary law. It identifies legal theory and principles used in the advancement of civil, military, and commercial space activities.

Private International Air Law (3 credit hours)
This course covers the unification of private international air law through the adoption of international conventions, such as air carriers’ liability under the Warsaw Convention System; the Rome Convention on liability caused by aircraft on the surface of the earth; the Geneva Convention on recognition of rights in aircraft; the Cape Town Convention on aircraft financing; insurance aspects and implications of the air carrier’s international liability; among others.

Public International Air Law (3 credit hours)
This course examines the relevant principles and public international law that apply to the use of airspace by examining the sources of international air law and the law-making processes affecting the regime of airspace and international air transport. The following topics are discussed: sources of international air law; case study of international aviation organizations (International Civil Aviation Organization, International Air Transport Association, and regional bodies) and their functions; civil and State aircraft; legal management of aviation security and aviation environmental harm; international standards and recommended practices regarding safety, security, airports, air navigation; State certification and licensing; and accident investigation; among others.

Space Security Law (3 credit hours)
Space Security Law covers a wide variety of legal issues dealing both with security of the space environment and national security derived from reliance on space assets. These issues are examined through both international and national legal regimes.

International Aviation Finance and Leasing Law (3 credit hours)
This course covers the primary legal and practical aspects of international aviation finance and leasing Law, and focuses on special international and national private air law (lex specialis) that applies to cross-border financing and leasing of aircraft objects.  This course also addresses the relevant international disputes that currently arise in the international aviation finance practice.

International Telecommunication Law (3 credit hours)
Telecommunications Law addresses legal issues of the transnational flow of information and the technology that facilitates these transfers.  These issues addressed include State interests in technical controls as well as in content controls of international communication.

Remote Sensing Law (3 credit hours)
Remote sensing is a valuable technology in science, foreign policy, national security, and commerce. This course provides an overview of international and domestic remote sensing law and identifies issues in the United States and the international community.

U.S. Aviation Law (3 credit hours)
This course covers aviation laws, regulations, and policy of the United States. It explores all major aspects of aviation law, including, but not limited to: government regulation of aircraft, air carriers, airmen, and airports; airport, air traffic control, and aircraft manufacturers’ liability; air carriers’ liability in domestic carriage of passengers and cargo; aircraft financing; economic regulation of domestic air routes and rates; aviation security; and environmental aviation law.

U.S. Space Law (3 credit hours)
This course covers the most developed body of national space law in the world: that of the United States. It addresses the nation’s civil and commercial programs and offers a wide variety of commercial activities: launches, remote sensing, and satellite communications, among others.

Master’s Thesis I-III (8 credit hours)
These courses are dedicated to the development of a student’s written thesis. They will cover advanced legal writing and research skills, literature review, thesis proposal development, and completion of a student’s written thesis.

If you have any questions about the Program in Air & Space Law, please email llm@olemiss.edu.