AHRC Project News and Recent Events
The AHRC Project comes to an end - December 31 2008
This project has now ended, a new project sponsored by the ESRC
will begin in April 2009, looking at regulatory satellite monitoring in Australia.
Project Documents Now Available On Website – December 2008
The key documents and reports from the project can now be found in the Project Publications pages on this website.
International Workshop in London - December 2008
The Satellites and the Law project team organised a high-level international workshop in London at UCL on December 5th 2008. This workshop brought together key people working in this field in the UK, Europe and the US to assess the legal opportunities that satellites might offer in the future.
The event was made possible with donations from the British National Space Centre and GeoEye.
Sessions at the workshop examined:
- UCL's research on satellites and the law
- Comparative experiences
- Future technologies and impacts
- Robustness and value as evidence
- Utilising the technological advances
- The future and key strategic issues.
See the full programme for the workshop.
The workshop sessions allowed delegates from different backgrounds and disciplines to exchange knowledge, share experiences, look at new opportunities that developments in satellite technologies could offer, and to identify and examine strategic issues where this technology could be used for environmental monitoring and enforcement both now and in the future.
Ray Purdy (UCL)
Dr Arwyn Davies (BNSC)
Alex de Sherbinin (Columbia University)
Mr. Egbert Jongsma (Netherlands
Court of Audit)
Dr. Ashbindu Singh (UNEP)
Brooke Tapsall (Queensland Government, Australia)
Dr. Shaida Johnston
Dr. James Lein (Ohio University)
Andrew Hanna (GeoEye)
Dr. Roberta Balstad (Columbia University)
Dr. Mario Caetano
(Instituto Geográfico Português)
(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Sir Robert Carnwath (Judge of the Court of Appeal,
England and Wales)
Judge Merideth Wright (Vermont Environmental Court,
Geddes (Circuit Judge, England and Wales)
Dr. Carole Billiet (Brussels
Regional Environmental Appeal Body)
Judge Ludwig Kramer (Germany)
Toby Stone (Maritime and Coastguard Agency)
Raymond W. Mushal (Senior
Counsel, Department of Justice,US)
Professor Richard Macrory (UCL)
David Stott (Chief Prosecutor, Environment
Agency, England and Wales)
Mr. Fraser Lovell (Head Solicitor, Scottish
Environment Protection Agency)
Michael Williams (Group on Earth Observations)
Andrew Shaw (Natural Environment
Nick Schoon (The Ends Report)
Dr. Greg Withee (National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US)
Ray Purdy (UCL)
Participants at this workshop included: Roberta Balstad, Center for International
Earth Science Information Network, The Earth Institute at Columbia University;
Dr. Carole Billiet: Brussels Regional Environmental Appeal Body; Ghent University;
Ms. Carrie Bradshaw: Centre for Law and the Environment, Faculty of Laws,
UCL; Mr. Stephen Briggs: Head of Earth Observation, European Space Agency;
Ms. Anne Brosnan: Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Environment Agency; Mr. Chris
Burke: Deputy Director, Commercial and Establishments, DEFRA Legal Group;
Azam Butt, European Marketing Manager, DigitialGlobe; Dr. Mario Caetano:
Instituto Geográfico Português, Portugal; Mr. Gordon Campbell:
TESEO Project, European Space Agency; Sir Robert Carnwath: Judge of the Court
of Appeal (England and Wales); Mr. Simon Casey: Image Processing Specialist,
Fugro NPA Satellite Mapping; Dr. Kelly Chance: Harvard-Smithsonian Center
for Astrophysics; Dr. Arwyn Davies: Director of Earth Observation, British
National Space Centre; Mr. Ian Downey: SciSys; Mr. Marco Ferrazzani: Head
of Office for Programme Matters, Legal Department, European Space Agency;
Professor Joanne Gabrynowicz: Director, National Remote Sensing and Space
Law Center, University of Mississippi, Judge Andrew Geddes: Circuit Judge
(England and Wales); Ms. Adina Gillespie: PhD Student, UCL; Mr. Luc Govaert:
Head of the EO Ground Segment & Applications, ESA-ESRIN; Mr. Andrew Hanna:
Senior Regional Sales Director, Europe, GeoEye; Dr. Shaida Johnston: Science
and Technology Policy Specialist, US; Mr. Egbert Jongsma: Netherlands Court
of Audit; Professor Ludwig Kramer: Former Head of Legal Unit, DG Environment;
Visiting Professor, UCL; Professor Gloria Laycock: Director, Jill Dando
Institute of Crime Science, UCL; Ms. Stephanie LeGrande: Spot Image; Dr.
James Lein: Department of Geography, Ohio University; Ms. Denise Leung: Centre
for Law and the Environment, Faculty of Laws, UCL; Mr. Fraser Lovell:
Head Solicitor, Scottish Environment Protection Agency; Mr. Larry MacFaul:
Vertic; Professor Richard Macrory: Director, Centre for Law and the Environment,
Faculty of Laws, UCL; Mr. Andy Morling: Serious Fraud Office; Mr. Tom Mosedale:
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Mr. Sa’id Mosteshar:
Barrister, Director of the London Institute of Space Policy and Law; Mr.
Patrick Chatard Moulin: Council of the European Union; Mr. Matt O’Donnell:
British National Space Centre; Ms. Nathalie Pensaert: General Secretariat
of the Council of the EU; Mr. Ray Purdy: Deputy Director, Centre for Law
and the Environment, Faculty of Laws, UCL; Dr. Michael Rose: Earth Observation
Programme Manager, British National Space Centre; Mr. Nick Schoon: Editor,
The ENDS Report; Dr. Andrew Shaw: Earth Observation Co-ordinator, National
Environmental Research Council; Alex de Sherbinin: Center for International
Earth Science Information Network, The Earth Institute at Columbia University;
Dr. Ashbindu Singh: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), US; Dr.
David Slater: Cambrensis; Mr. Toby Stone: Head of Counter Pollution and Response,
Maritime and Coastguard Agency; Mr. David Stott: Chief Prosecutor, Environment
Agency; Ms. Brooke Tapsall: Remote Sensing Team, Compliance, Operational
Review and Special Projects, Queensland Government, Australia; Ms. Carolyn
Vannan: Senior Policy Officer, Air Policy Unit, SEPA; Mr. Michael Williams:
External Relations Manager, Group on Earth Observations, Switzerland; Dr.
Greg Withee: Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services,
NOAA; Judge Merideth Wright: Vermont Environmental Court
Website hits – December 2008
The project website has now received over 8800 hits from countries
all across the world.
October 2008 - Ray Purdy interviewed on BBC Radio 4
Ray Purdy was on the Farming Today programme on Radio 4, 21 October, on
the topic of satellite monitoring of farmers in the UK. He was discussing
the results of a survey of farmers into their awareness and reactions to
being monitored this way. A recording of the interview was on the BBC Radio
Website hits - August 2008
The project website has now received over 6000 hits from countries all across
with the British National Space Centre - June 2008
Richard Macrory and Ray Purdy met with senior officials of the British
National Space Centre including Michael Rose, Maria Adams, Matt O'Donnell,
Churchyard. They discussed the key conclusions to date from the UCL project
and how the UCL research might be developed and taken forward beyond the
current AHRC contract.
Meeting with the Rural Payments Agency - June
Ray Purdy visited the offices of the Rural Payments Agency in Reading
to meet with Chris Lee. They discussed the conclusions of the results of
UCL questionnaire on UK farmers’ attitudes and reactions to satellite
monitoring and implications of these research results on the remote sensing
control programmes supporting UK subsidy payments.
Visit to the Metropolitan Police in London - May 2008
Purdy and Ned Westaway from the project team at UCL met with DCI Mick Neville
and DS Steve Hubbard. These police officers manage Visual
Images Identification & Detections Office (VIIDO) at the Met and
look at CCTV strategy and its use as evidence in the UK. They discussed
of CCTV as evidence, issues with recovery and utilisation of the data recorded,
its success at detecting crime, and its impact on compliance behaviour.
Website hits - May 2008
The project website has now received over 5000 hits from countries all across
Meeting at the Joint Research Centre in Ispra - May 2008
Ray Purdy went to Italy to meet with senior JRC officials in the MARS agricultural
monitoring programme to discuss the project workpackage on using satellites
for agricultural monitoring in Europe. They discussed the first stage results
of the questionnaire on UK farmers attitudes to satellite monitoring and
implications the results had on indicating changes to compliance behaviour.
Meeting at ADAS in Wolverhampton - April 2008
Ray Purdy met with Chris Procter and Martyn Silgram of the ADAS
Environment Group in Wolverhampton. They discussed the preliminary stage
results of the questionnaire on UK farmers awareness and attitudes to satellite
Farmers' Questionnarie Closes - March 2008
The project questionnaire into farmers' attitudes and awareness of
satellite monitoring has now closed. Ludwig Kraemer, visiting professor and
expert, undertook the prize draw; congratulations to Mr A. G. Moralee of
Lowfield Farm in Co. Durham who won a year's subscription to Farmers'
Kraemer selects the winner
Website hits – March 2008
The project website has now received over 4000 hits from countries all across
the world, including 2000 hits in the last five months alone.
Farmers' Questionnaire of Attitudes to Satellite Monitoring Launched - February
A short independent survey of UK farmers is being undertaken by
UCL on monitoring by satellite. UCL want to hear about farmers' experiences
to being monitored
this way and equally understand both benefits there might be to farmers
(such as consistent enforcement) as well as concerns if they consider the
is not used properly). This academic survey is the first of its kind in
this country, and the first time that farmers have been given an opportunity
voice their opinions on current use and likely future developments.
Around 450 copies of the questionnaire have been sent to a random sample
of UK farms, in addition project staff are undertaking targeted research
and an on-line version of the questionnaire has been widely disseminated
in the farming press.
The survey will close on 13th March 2008. For more information contact Ray
Purdy - 0207 679 4554.
UCL Carbon Auditors – Satellite Monitoring of Climate Change Launched – February 2008
Carbon Auditors, a private business run from University College London, was launched in February 2008. Matthew Tyburski who was the technical researcher on the project is Managing Director, and Professor Ray Harris who leads the technical side of our project is on the advisory board. This company which will undertake carbon monitoring and verification in the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF; i.e., Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use) sector using satellites.
Meeting with ADAS - January 2008
In January the project team
met with Chris Procter and Martyn Silgram
of the ADAS Environment Group. They discussed current arrangements for satellite
monitoring of cross compliance under the single farm payment scheme in
the UK. Chris and Martyn gave comments on a survey of awareness and experiences
of farmers towards satellite monitoring, which UCL plans to undertake as
part of the AHRC project.
Proposed Conference in London – 2008
The project team
are in the process of planning an international conference on Satellites
and the Law; to be held in London in November 2008. Further
details will be posted on this site over the coming months. To receive
an update regarding this Conference please email Ray Purdy – email@example.com
Meeting with Richard Wordsworth of the NFU - December 2007
In December Ray Purdy met with Richard Wordsworth, Single Payment Scheme
Adviser, at the National Farmers Union headquarters in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.
They discussed current arrangements for satellite monitoring of aid schemes
from the perspective and experiences of the farming community in England.
Meeting with Simon Kay of the JRC – December 2007
The project team met with Dr. Simon Kay of the Joint Research Centre
of the European Commission. They discussed the JRC's MARS agricultural monitoring
programme and the use of satellite remote sensing to support the Common Agricultural
Policy. The project team discussed the operational running of the JRC’s
satellite monitoring programme and perspectives on usage and performance in
Meeting with the Rural Payments Agency – December 2007
In December 2007, Ray Harris and Ray Purdy visited the offices of
the Rural Payments Agency in Reading. They met with Chris Lee and Denise
Sanders who work in the RPA's Policy Directorate to discuss the remote sensing
control programmes supporting subsidy payments such as the single payment
Ray Harris: Chair of Strategic Committee on Information and Data - October
Ray Harris has been invited by the International Council for Science (ICSU
- www.icsu.org) to chair the Strategic Committee on Information and Data
(SCID). The committee will meet three times during 2007 - 08 and consists
of invited members from around the world brought together to propose improvements
to the ways in which all scientific data, notably including environmental
data, are made more accessible to all. The committee will produce a report
which will be submitted to the ICSU General Assembly at its meeting in October
Institute of International and Comparative Law – October
Ray Purdy met with Brendan Plant of the British Institute of International
and Comparative Law in October to discuss a major study they are undertaking
on the law of evidence before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
They discussed the processes and procedures for introducing evidence into
ICJ and how complex evidence such as satellite imagery has been dealt with
by the Court.
Chatham House Meeting – October 2007
Ray Purdy met
Professor Maureen Williams and her daughter Viviane at Chatham House, home
of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in October 2007.
They discussed the current and future work of the Space Law Committee of
the International Law Association on the use of satellite data in court proceedings – particularly
in the International Court of Justice.
Dubai, Ikonos - cars on a highway
Central Kuwait, Ikonos image, July 2001
Website hits – October
The project website has received over 2000 hits from countries
all across the world in the last year.
International Workshop in Washington – September 2007
The Satellites and the Law project team organised a high-level international
two day workshop in Washington D.C. in September 2007. The Space Policy Institute
at the George Washington University hosted this workshop which examined the
potential of satellite remote sensing in the context of monitoring and enforcement
of environmental law. This workshop at the Space Policy Institute brought
together the UCL project team and key American experts in the field to assess
UCL's project results to date and the legal opportunities that satellites
might offer in the future.
The participants at this two day workshop considered the research results
so far from the Centre’s AHRC project, which is the leading project
of its type internationally, and provided valuable feedback. Key themes examined
1. How can satellites be used as a policy tool and could this bring better
regulation; possibilities of targeting and adopting signatures for monitoring;
2. Authenticity of the images and use as evidence;
3. Acquisition and archiving of the images;
4. Commissioning i.e. prescription of future satellites;
The workshop sessions allowed delegates from different backgrounds and disciplines
to exchange knowledge, share experiences, look at new opportunities that
developments in satellite technologies could offer, and to identify and examine
strategic issues where this technology could be used for environmental monitoring
and enforcement both now and in the future.
Participants at this workshop included: Roberta Balstad, Senior Research
Scientist, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia
University; Dr. Kelly Chance, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Harvard-Smithsonian
Center for Astrophysics; Michael R. Fisher, Director of the Legal Council
Division in EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics, and Training
within the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance; Joanne Gabrynowicz,
Professor, National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law, University
of Mississippi School of Law; Adina Gillespie, Department of Geography, University
College London; Ray Harris, Professor of Remote Sensing, Department of Geography,
University College London; Henry Hertzfeld, Research Professor, Space Policy
Institute, George Washington University; Daniel Horgan, EPA Criminal Investigation
Division, Forensics Coordinator; Shaida Johnston, Senior Systems Engineer
and Science and Technology Policy Specialist, NASA; James Lein, Professor,
Department of Geography, Ohio University; Richard Macrory, Professor of Environmental
Law, Faculty of Laws, University College London; Carrie Middleton, Environmental
Scientist, US EPA National Enforcement Investigations Center; Ray Mushal,
Senior Counsel, Environmental Crimes Section, US Department of Justice; Andra
Popa, United Nations Environment Programme/Regional Office for North America;
Kevin Pomfret, Cantor Arkema P.C., Attorneys and Counsellors at Law; Ray
Purdy, Senior Research Fellow on the AHRC Satellites and the Law Project,
Faculty of Laws, University College London; Alex de Sherbinin, Center for
International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Columbia University;
Ashbindu Singh Ph.D., Regional Coordinator, UNEP Division of Early Warning & Assessment-
North America; Greg Susanke, US EPA, Office of Research & Development;
Matthew Tyburski, Research Assistant on the AHRC Satellites and the Law Project,
Department of Geography, University College London; Ed Washburn, Multi-Media
Team Leader and Co-Chair of EPA GEOSS, Coordinating Committee, US Environmental
Protection Agency; Ray Williamson, Research Professor, Space Policy Institute,
George Washington University; Greg Withee, Assistant Administrator for Satellite
and Information Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;
Judge Merideth Wright, Vermont Environmental Court.
Meeting with Environment Agency Kelvedon Office - September 2007
In September 2007 Ray Purdy and Matt Tyburski met with enforcement
officers from the Kelvedon office of the Environment Agency. They discussed
prosecution that the Environment Agency had undertaken concerning the criminal
operation of an illegal landfill site. The project team got satellite imagery
provided by DigitalGlobe of the same landfill site as part of a project
case study and asked the Agency officers to test the value of it as evidence;
particularly against traditional methods of monitoring and evidence gathering.
The satellite image showed that the offence had been taking place for a
longer period of time than was previously though and illustrated its potential
for providing historical data. Ray and Matt also discussed with the Agency
other potential areas where satellite imagery could play a role in monitoring
environmental crime and whether this could be effective.
Australia Visit – June 2007
Ray Purdy visited Australia
in summer 2007 to research practice and developments within Australia using
satellite technology for enforcement and management.
The Australians have developed quite sophisticated satellite monitoring for
vegetation management and illegal clearing. It is estimated that 700,000
hectares of native bush is cleared annually in Australia (equivalent of 50
football fields of native trees and wildlife habitat destroyed every hour).
Satellite monitoring is important as it allows the rates and extents of land
clearance to be measures and compared between areas over time – and
it is the only feasible way of getting land cover information for large areas.
Satellite imagery has already been successfully used as evidence in numerous
land clearance prosecutions and in court in Australia.
Ray met with a number of key Australian government officials and academics
from across the country working in the field of environmental compliance
using satellites including:
John Winkworth (Manager, Investigations Unit, DWLBC); Mark Storey (Manger,
Remote Sensing and Aerial Photography Unit, DWLBC; Dennis Connor (Senior
Investigator, DWLBC); Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation,
Government of South Australia
Peter Wells, Director Compliance and Licencing, Department of Environment
and Climate Change, NSW Government
Bruce Goulevich, Principal Vegetation Management Officer (Remote Sensing),
Compliance, Operational Review and Special Projects, Queensland Government
Stuart Phinn, Associate Professor, School of Geography, Planning and Architecture,
The University of Queensland
New Research Appointment – April 2007
Olivia Woolley, a former practising lawyer, was appointed on a four month
part time contract to assist the legal researchers on the project case studies.
Olivia will be considering the objectives and legal requirements of a number
of European and International environmental laws and assisting the technical
researcher, Matt Tyburski, in evaluating whether these have a possible application
to satellite monitoring.
Talk to the UK Government’s Prosecutors Group – March
Ray Purdy was invited to talk to the Government’s Whitehall
Prosecutors Group in London on March 2007 on using satellite surveillance
for criminal enforcement purposes. This group contains lawyers involved with
prosecutions across all UK government departments and their role is to network
and exchange information on best practice. Ray spoke on the potential of
satellite imagery being used by investigators and prosecutors in the future.
Workshop with the Environment Agency – January 2007
Senior staff members of the Environment Agencies head office attended
a workshop at UCL organised by the AHRC project team. The seminar brought
Agency staff with investigative, prosecution and policy backgrounds to
consider whether satellite monitoring could play a compliance role with
laws. The results of this workshop enabled the project team to design
a number of case studies to take the project forward.
Visit – September 2006
Ray Purdy met Professor Maureen Williams and her daughter Viviane
at Chatham House, home of the Royal Institute of International Affairs
2006. They discussed the remote sensing research interests of the Space
Law Committee of the International Law Association.
New Research Appointment – September
Matt Tyburski was appointed as a technical research assistant on
the project in September. Matt’s previous degrees focused on both geography
and ecology and he has experience of participating in collaborative research
efforts on four continents. He will be based in the School of Geography,
under the supervision of Ray Harris, and will work closely with the legal
researchers and undertake a number of demonstration projects, illustrating
the technical side to the project.
Visit to Tunbridge Wells – June 2006
In July 2006, Ray Harris and Ray
Purdy visited James Pavey of Knight’s
solicitors in Tunbridge Wells. James works for a legal practice with many
rural clients and had been involved as a defence solicitor in a case where
satellite imagery was used as evidence against a farmer. We discussed this
case in detail and gathered useful information as to the potential problems
of using satellite imagery as evidence. Significantly we also got another
perspective over what an informed defence lawyer might seek to attack if
such evidence was used.
Visit to European Space Agency – May 2006
Professor Ray Harris and Ray Purdy visited the European Space Agency in Paris
in May 2006 to discuss the project. They met with Marco Ferrazzani and Joanne
Wheeler of the Legal Department and Alberto Marchini of the European Centre
for Space Law.