The 51st session of the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was held on 19 – 30 of March, 2012 in Vienna. The Subcommittee, which had been instrumental in the development of the international legal regime governing the activities of States in the exploration and use of outer space, addressed such issues as status and application of the United Nations treaties on outer space, definition and delimitation of outer space, matters relating to the character and use of the geostationary orbit and capacity-building in space law.
One of the key items on the agenda of the session was the finalization of the report of the Working Group on National Legislation Relevant to the Peaceful Exploration and Use of Outer Space. The report resulted from a detailed exchange of information on national space legislation, including how States regulate the conduct of national space activities and the function of governmental authorities in authorizing, licensing, and supervising national space activities as well as the relationship between public entities and non-governmental actors which has been conducted over the past few years.
Other working groups, reconvened at this session, were the Working Group on the Status and Application of the Five United Nations Treaties on Outer Space, and the Working Group on the Definition and Delimitation of Outer Space.