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A theological perspective on space law and technology

9 November 2022

Presenter: Jessica Giles, Lecturer in Law, Faculty of Business and Law, The Open University

Chair: Frangton Chiyemura, Lecturer in International Development Education, The Open University

Space exploration and theology were famously synthesised by the fiction writer Isaac Asimov. Asimov wrote with such foresight that his fiction has informed research, in particular in the field of artificial intelligence. The impact of this legacy is now of more importance than ever, as space exploration, theology and human rights law come together in the face of a range of new issues posed by developments in space exploration and travel. With international accord over the non-ownership of the moon and other celestial bodies on the one hand: but with rapidly growing capacity to mine in space; send tourists up; and impact life on earth through activity in space on the other, the protection of individuals from potential abuse by such activity is becoming increasingly urgent. In the face of increasing impact of space exploration on earth and with over 80% of the global population adhering to a religion, theological insights into informing ethical choices underpinning law creation and adjudication in respect of space exploration are important. This paper highlights some of the intersections between space exploration and human rights law, exploring a Christian theological perspective on them.


Jessica Giles is a law lecturer at The Open University. She took her undergraduate law degree at Durham University and her masters in international human rights law and European Union law at Bristol University. She studied theology at the Open Theological College and theology of law at Spurgeon’s College. She qualified as a Solicitor in 1991 and transferred to the bar in 2016. She has worked as a law reporter for the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales in the Chancery, Queen’s Bench and Administrative Divisions of the High Court as well as in the Court of Justice of the European Union. She has taught EU external relations law at Bristol University and a level 1 module, Rules, rights and justice, a level 2 module, Understanding law covering English legal systems and EU law and Business, Human Rights Law and Corporate Social Responsibility a Master's module, at The Open University. She gained her Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2015 and Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2016.

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