Webinar: Weapons in Space

This was the next part in Volterra Fietta’s continuing virtual seminar series on Space Law.


The possibility that space will be a completely demilitarised zone appears increasingly remote.  While international efforts to continue to prevent the militarisation of space, on the one hand, space continues to be used for a range of military applications – perhaps even beyond remote sensing and imaging.  Anti-satellite missile tests are now routinely front-page news.  The militarisation of space raises numerous practical and legal questions.


Volterra Fietta’s latest addition to its space seminar series addressed these issues from a broad range of regional and national perspectives.  The chosen panel of speakers operate at the highest levels of space law and policy around the world.


The distinguished panel of speakers were:


Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan: Dr Rajagopalan is the distinguished fellow and head of the nuclear and space policy initiative at the Observer Research Foundation.  Previously, Dr Rajagopalan was an assistant director at the National Security Council Secretariat and a research officer at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi.  She has been a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Politics in Taichung, Taiwan.  She has also lectured at several military and policy institutions such as the Defence Service and Staff College (Wellington) and the National Defence College (New Delhi). Dr Rajagopalan has significant experience in space policy, including space security and militarisation.


Dmitry Stefanovich: Dmitry Stefanovich is a research fellow with the Centre for International Security at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is also a non-resident fellow with the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg and an independent military and political affairs analyst and expert with the Russian International Affairs Council.  Mr Stefanovich current work looks at strategic weapons, long-range precision-strike weapons, emerging technologies and their impact on international security and strategic stability, arms control and regional security.


Fabio Tronchetti: Dr Fabio Tronchetti is a co-director of the Institute of Space Law and Strategy and associate Professor of the Zhuoyue Program at Beihang University, in Beijing, China.  He is also an Adjunct Professor of Comparative National Space Law at the School of Law of the University of Mississippi.  Dr Tronchetti was previously an associate Professor of Law at the Harbin Institute of Technology, in China, and a Lecturer at the International Institute of Air and Space Law of Leiden University, in the Netherlands.  Dr Tronchetti research focuses on issues related to international space law and the international security and commercialisation of space activities in China and Southeast Asia.


Gunjan Sharma: Gunjan Sharma, Counsel at Volterra Fietta.  Mr Sharma has been senior counsel on two of the three major space investment disputes in the last decade.  He has extensive experience representing clients in hundreds-of-million and billion dollar disputes involving claims arising out of space operations (including orbital allocation and ITU processes).  This includes clients in the Devas/Antrix matter (involving the Republic of India) and in a matter involving satellite interference claims.  Mr Sharma is routinely sought out for his views on space law and has published commentaries on space law for national and international media, including, among others, The Times in London and the NRC in Amsterdam.  Based on the recommendations of his clients and peers, Mr Sharma has been recognised as a “Rising Star” in public international law, “for sure”, by Legal500 and as a “Rising Star” in Commercial Arbitration by Euromoney.


Florentine Vos: This event was moderated by Florentine Vos, Associate at Volterra Fietta.  Ms Vos advises States, international organisations and private clients on issues of public international law and international dispute settlement, including before the International Court of Justice and in investor-State arbitration. Her expertise covers a wide array of public international law topics, including the law on State responsibility, reparations in international law, deep seabed mining and space law.  She regularly publishes, speaks and gives (radio) interviews on issues of space law.


For any queries regarding the content of the seminar, please email Gunjan Sharma Volterra at, or Florentine Vos at