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Archive for the 'Satellites & the law' Category

Environmental Crime

By Richard B Macrory, on 9 February 2017

Ray Purdy (Himgreson Sen. Research Fellow) and Professor Richard Macrory took part in a Parliamentary Breakfast briefing on 31 January discussing environmental crime. Ray Purdy spoke about the increasing potential of satellite technology to detect environmental crime, while Richard Macrory argued for the need of the full range of criminal and administrative sanctions needed to tackle the issue. The event was  coordinated by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and was attended by MPs and other experts. Details including   a summary of the discussion can be found at https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/bicameral/post/post-events/environmental-crime/

New Book on Satellite Monitoring

By Ray Purdy, on 5 December 2012

Ray Purdy (Centre for Law and the Environment) and Denise Leung (formerly Centre for Law and the Environment, UCL Laws – now World Resources Institute) are editors of a new book released in December 2012. The 498 page volume entitled Evidence from Earth Observation Satellites: Emerging Legal Issues is published by Martinus Nijhoff / Brill (Leiden).

 Satellite technologies are rapidly improving, offering increased opportunities for monitoring laws, and using images as evidence in court. Evidence from Earth Observation Satellites analyses whether data from satellite technologies can be a legally reliable, effective evidential tool in contemporary legal systems. This unique interdisciplinary volume brings together leading experts to consider many emerging issues surrounding the use of these technologies in legal strategies. Issues examined include the evidential opportunities arising from technological developments, existing regulatory applications and operational experiences at national and international level, and admissibility in courts and tools for ensuring the integrity of evidence. It also examines privacy impacts under existing legislation and provides a new conceptual framework for debating the acceptability of such surveillance methods.


UCL Publications and Media on Satellite Monitoring

By Ray Purdy, on 5 November 2012

Here is a list of outputs from the Satellites and the Law research programme:

Ray Purdy and Denise Leung (eds.), Evidence from Earth Observation Satellites: Emerging Legal Issues, Martinus Nijhoff (Brill), Leiden, December 2012, 498p.

Spying on Europe’s farmers with satellites and drones, BBC News 8 February 2012 (Ray Purdy interviewed) Link:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16545333

Ray Purdy, ‘Attitudes of UK and Australian farmers towards monitoring activity with satellite technologies: Lessons to be learnt’, Space Policy 27, 2011, 202-212.

Ray Purdy, ‘The Impact of Satellite Technologies in the International Legal Sector: The Story So Far and Implications For the Future’, Derecho Espacial, Vol. XVII, 2011, Plus Ultra Press, Argentina).

Ray Purdy, Satellite Monitoring of Environmental Laws. Lessons to be learnt from Australia, UCL  Centre for Law and the Environment ISBN: 978-0-9560806-1-5, 2010. 225p.

Download full report

Ray Purdy, Emerging Legal Issues with Satellite Earth Observation,  in Current Legal Issues for Satellite Earth Observation, eds. M. Sanchez Arazamendi, R. Sandau, K. Schrogl,  ESPI, Report  25, August 2010, pp9-25

Ray Purdy, ‘Using Earth Observation Technologies for Better Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement of Environmental Laws’, Journal of Environmental Law,  22:1 (2010) pp59-87.

Ray Purdy was interviewed on the ABC National Radio (Australia)  Bush Telegraph show  on Monday 23rd November 2009.

Ray Purdy was interviewed on ABC Queensland Radio on the 2nd November 2009.

Ray Purdy was interviewed on the ABC South Australia Radio programme ‘Country Hour’ on the 27th October 2009 in the State of South Australia, and again on the 2nd November in the State of Queensland. A recording of this interview can be downloaded here.

‘Big brother checks up on farmers,’ Sydney Morning Herald, 4th May 2010 (Ray was interviewed) http://www.smh.com.au/environment/big-brother-checks-up-on-farmers-20100503-u3rk.html

Ray Purdy interview on BBC (UK) Radio 4’s Farming Today, 21 October 2008

Ray Purdy, Satellites: A New Era for Environmental Compliance, Journal for European Environmental and Planning Law, Volume 3 Number 5, 2006, pp406-413.

Ray Purdy, ‘Remote Sensing and Other Emerging Information Sources’, in United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Manual on Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, 2006, pp381-382.

Ray Purdy, ‘Satellites as a Legal Compliance Tool’, Bulletin of the European Centre for Space Law, published by the Auspices of the European Space Agency, ECSL No 34, November 2006, pp2-3.

Ray Purdy, R (2006) The heat is on, New Law Journal Volume 156, Issue 7225, p834-837

Ray Purdy, R (2006) Satellites: The next major tool in law enforcement? UCL Laws Newsletter, Autumn 2006, 20-21.

Ray Purdy and Richard Macrory (2003), Satellite Photographs: 21st Century Evidence? New Law Journal, March 7, pp337-338.

Ray Purdy et al, ‘Applications of Earth Observation to the Legal Sector’, BNSC publications (2001) * Ray was a contributor to this report

Ray Purdy and Macrory, The Use of Satellite Images as Evidence in Environmental Actions in Great Britain, Droit et Ville, n° 51, June 2001, pp72-88.

Ray Purdy et al, APERTURE Project Final Report: Environmental Typological Space Mapper Facilitating the Implementation of European Legislation, European Commission (2000) * Ray was a contributor to this report

Ray Purdy, R (1999), Legal and Privacy Issues of Spy in the Sky Satellites, Mountbatten Journal of Legal Studies, vol 3(1), pp63-79.

Research Council judges UCL Research Project on Satellites and Environmental Law as “Outstanding”

By Eva R Van Der Marel, on 1 April 2012

The Arts and Humanities Research Council has recently assessed the major three-year research project awarded to UCL Laws between 2005 and 2008 on the use of satellite technology as a compliance tool for environmental enforcement, and given it its highest rating of Outstanding. The project was directed in Laws by Professor Richard Macrory, with Ray Purdy, Senior Research Fellow, as the lead researcher.

The project, with collaboration from the Dept of Geography, explored the potential and significance of employing satellite monitoring data as a compliance tool, in the context of current step changes in resolution capabilities, geographical coverage, and costs of the technology. The AHRC Assessment commented that the research was clearly valuable, with high impact, and was very complimentary about the degree of “very significant” collaborations and interaction, both formal and informal, that had been carried out during the research. It concluded that the project was “excellent value for money”.

Details of the project and its conclusions can be found on:
Centre for Law and the Environment website
Other UCL Laws Research Projects

Satellite Enforcement of Environment Law

By Eva R Van Der Marel, on 1 February 2012

Ray Purdy, Senior Research Fellow at UCL Laws, was interviewed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and his comments quoted in an article on the front page of the BBC’s News website. The article ‘Spying on Europe’s farms with satellites and drones’ examines the use of these new technologies within the EU to detect fraud for environmental and farming subsidies. The article covers some of the results of Ray’s research under his grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.

For further information:
BBC article
(published 8 Feb 2012)
Ray Purdy’s research on satellites

Ray Purdy publishes ESRC Report on Satellite Monitoring of Environmental Laws

By Eva R Van Der Marel, on 2 November 2010

The study, Smart Enforcement in Environmental Legal Systems: A Socio-Legal Analysis of Regulatory Satellite Monitoring in Australia, was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), during 2009 and 2010. The final report was launched on the 9 November 2010.

The report examines whether modern satellite technologies could provide a rigorous, legally reliable, and cost effective tool in inspection and compliance regimes in environmental regulatory systems. It considers these issues in the context of relevant experience and expertise in Australia, which is the only sustained comparative example where satellites have been used to monitor an environmental law. Satellite monitoring is used to monitor compliance with vegetation clearing legislation in Australia. The report seeks to demonstrate lessons learnt from this cutting-edge practice in Australia and to identify how best to build on this experience if satellite monitoring is to be used in new regulatory strategies.

Satellite Monitoring of Environmental Laws. Lessons to be learnt from Australia

Author: Ray Purdy
ISBN: 978-0-9560806-1-5
London: Centre for Law and the Environmental, University College London
November 2010