UCL FACULTY OF LAWS
Centre for Law and the Environment

Centre for Law and the Environment:
Satellites and the Law

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.

 

image 1 Speakers L-R:
Ray Purdy (UCL)
Dr Arwyn Davies (BNSC)
Prof. Richard Macrory (UCL)
image 2 Speakers L-R:
Alex de Sherbinin (Columbia University)
Mr. Egbert Jongsma (Netherlands Court of Audit)
Dr. Ashbindu Singh (UNEP)
Brooke Tapsall (Queensland Government, Australia)
Dr. Shaida Johnston (United States)
image 3

Speakers L-R:
Dr. James Lein (Ohio University)
Andrew Hanna (GeoEye)
Dr. Roberta Balstad (Columbia University)
Dr. Mario Caetano (Instituto Geográfico Português)
Dr. Kelly Chance (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

image 4

Speakers L-R:
Sir Robert Carnwath (Judge of the Court of Appeal, England and Wales)
Judge Merideth Wright (Vermont Environmental Court, US)
Judge Andrew Geddes (Circuit Judge, England and Wales)
Dr. Carole Billiet (Brussels Regional Environmental Appeal Body)
Judge Ludwig Kramer (Germany)

image 5

Speakers L-R:
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)

image 6 Speakers L-R:
Michael Williams (Group on Earth Observations)
Andrew Shaw (Natural Environment Research Council)
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 4 website.

Website hits - August 2008
The project website has now received over 6000 hits from countries all across the world.

Meeting 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, and Mark 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 2008
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 the 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
Ray 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 the value 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 the world.

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 monitoring.

Farmers' Questionnarie Closes - March 2008
The project questionnaire into farmers' attitudes and awareness of satellite monitoring has now closed. Ludwig Kraemer, visiting professor and EC law 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' Guardian..
Ludwig 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 2008
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 technology 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 to 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. 
http://www.carbonauditors.com/index.html

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 – raymond.purdy@ucl.ac.uk

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 Member States.

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 scheme.

Ray Harris: Chair of Strategic Committee on Information and Data - October 2007
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 2008.

British Institute of International and Comparative Law – October 2007
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 the 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 2007
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 included:
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;
5. Privacy.

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 a recent 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 much 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 2007
Ray Purdy was invited to talk to the Government’s Whitehall Prosecutors Group in London on March 2007 on using satellite surveillance and imagery 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.

UK 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 together Agency staff with investigative, prosecution and policy backgrounds to consider whether satellite monitoring could play a compliance role with certain environmental laws. The results of this workshop enabled the project team to design a number of case studies to take the project forward.

Chatham House Visit – September 2006
Ray Purdy met Professor Maureen Williams and her daughter Viviane at Chatham House, home of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in September 2006. They discussed the remote sensing research interests of the Space Law Committee of the International Law Association.

New Research Appointment – September 2006
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.

America Trip - February 2006
Ray Purdy went on a ten day research trip to the United States in February 2006 in connection with the Centre’s satellite monitoring and the law project. Ray had a series of meetings in Washington D.C. with high level senior government officials from the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency. These meetings were set up by Earthpace, a US NGO specialising in remote sensing, who are our American partners on the project. Ray also met with key people from NASA, George Washington University and the American Institute of Biological Sciences. After Washington he visited the University of Mississippi, where he gave a series of lectures and met with staff from the internationally recognised National Remote Sensing and Space Law Centre - which is based at the university. The research trip proved invaluable for establishing contacts in this field as well as generating much interest in the project.