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Offbeat specialisation

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2014

A course in air and space law provide an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles of public international law related to air and space. Aditi Guha reports

With a number of countries and private entities entering the realm of outer space for various military as well as commercial activities such as telecommunication, direct television broadcasting, tele-education and even space tourism, the demand for air and space lawyers is rapidly increasing.

In keeping with the demand, the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS) offers a Postgraduate Diploma in Air and Space Law (PGDASL) for students who wish to work in this field.

Says Sandeepa Bhat B, associate professor and coordinator, PGDASL, “At present, the significance of air law and space law needs no explanation, thanks to the indispensible uses of airspace and outer space. The increasing number of disputes in this field has also resulted in an increase in the demand of legal practitioners in developed countries like the US, UK, Canada, Russia, Japan, France, Australia, etc.”

Course Details
The one-year, distance learning course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of air law and space law along with the fundamental principles of public international law related to air and space.

“Students are required to appear for five papers — international law basis of air and space law, fundamentals of air and space law, emerging issues in air law, emerging issues in space law and a 50 to 60-page dissertation on a chosen topic, that candidates decide on in consultation with their teacher. The dissertation also consists of a viva examination,” says Bhat.

Students are graded on individual projects in each paper and an annual examination. Study material is provided to the candidates during the first contact session. The same is sent by post to those who do not attend the first session.

“There are provisions for contact classes whereby, each subject is given 12 hours of study (except the dissertation paper). Classes are held in three sessions for three days each, on the NUJS campus. Additionally, a session on research methodology is held to facilitate the writing of the dissertations,” adds Bhat.

Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognised university can apply for the course. The course is also open to UG final year students. However, the diploma is granted only on the completion of the same. Candidates opting for the course must complete it with a minimum of 40% within three years from the date of registration.

Admission procedures begin in May each year and the application deadline is in June.


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