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About Centre


Technological advancement has made International civil aviation a necessity in our contemporary world and reduced the globe into a village by bringing people closer. It has emerged as a classical example of global cooperation both on the ground and in the airspace. Its safety and security is a paramount concern in the light of adoption of newer ways to threaten aviation infrastructure. At the same time, commercial considerations are its fundamental drivers and a well-developed civil aviation industry is vital to any modern economy. International regulatory framework for Air Law strives to achieve an optimal balance between these competing considerations. India, being the world's largest and most diverse democracy is no exception.

The Cold War provided the context for the space age to begin. However, on the one hand, unprecedented developments in science and technology improved our understanding about it but also made us realise its infiniteness. With the passage of time, a select group of space faring nations is expanding with the joining of new nations. With ever increasing human activities in space, complex issues pertaining to its safety, security, environment etc. seeks redressal through international space law which regard space as ‘Province of Mankind’. Further, private players too have entered the fray and are gradually becoming indispensable partners in the space industry. At the domestic level, nations have come up with policy and enactments to facilitate as well as regulate them. India too is one such nation.

VSMCASL was established in 2019 to engage, in various ways, in shaping the emerging discourse in the field of Air and Space Law.


To engage in improving the existing legal and policy framework for facilitation and regulation of a safe, secure, affordable and sustainable aviation and to contribute in the shaping of legal foundation for the future of humanity that lies in space.

  • To provide a platform to the students to develop their research skills in the field of Air and Space Law
  • To encourage trans-disciplinary research on issues concerning Air and Space Law
  • To contribute, through research, in Law and Policy making in the field of Air and Space Law at both international and national level
  • To organise seminars, conferences, workshops, round tables etc. with the aim to provide a platform to facilitate deliberations amongst the stakeholders on the various issues confronting Air and Space Law and to contribute thereby in the ongoing discourse
  • To provide research insights to defence and security forces pertaining to the field of Air and Space Law
  • To collaborate with other universities and research institutions to facilitate exchange of faculty and students to understand and develop mutual perspectives and contexts regarding the future prospects of Air and Space Law
  • To identify the training needs of various stakeholders and design short term and long term courses in order to impart training in the field of Air and Space Law
  • To engage with stakeholders within the industry about the practical challenges and the feasibility of implementing regulations and policies in Air and Space Law
  • To create a network of practitioners, researchers etc, active in the field of Air and Space Law
  • To create awareness about the niche field of Air and Space Law through its various activities like essay competitions, quizzes etc.
About Prof. V.S. Mani

Prof. (Dr.) V. S. Mani was an Indian legal scholar. He was the founder Director of Gujarat National Law University and an expert in the field of public international law. He did his M. A. in Political Science, Public Administration, & International Law and held a degree of Ph. D. in International Law from JNU, New Delhi. He was also recipient of three distinguished scholarships and fellowship i.e. Orissa Govt. Doctoral Scholarship 1966-69; Rockefeller Foundation Special Overseas Fellow at British Institute of International & Comparative Law (BIICL), London 1969-70 and British Institute of International and Comparative Law support for attendance at Summer Course at The Hague Academy of International Law, 1970.

He had authored/edited nine books and over 110 articles in various research journals including Asian Yearbook of International Law, Singapore Journal of International and Comparative Law, Journal of Space Law, and International Review of the Red Cross, several edited works including UN Office of the Legal Affairs, along with Essays on International Law (New York, 1999), on a variety of subjects such as the ICJ, International Law and the Indian Law, Indian courts and International Law, aspects of Indian law, law of the sea, law and strategy of international litigation, air and space law, environmental law, human rights, humanitarian law, law of disarmament and control of weapons, law of international organisation, prohibition of force, international criminal court, extradition, international terrorism, law of treaties, unilateral acts, extraterritorial application of national laws, and humanitarian intervention.

He served eminent leading academic institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar and Jaipur National University, Jaipur. Formerly he was a professor at the Centre of International Legal Studies, School of International Studies, JNU. He had served as ISRO Chair in International Space Law, as Jawaharlal Nehru Chair in International Environmental Law, and as Director of its Human Rights Teaching and Research Programme. He was also the founder-director of the prestigious Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, India and was elected Executive President of the Indian Society of International Law, New Delhi in 2003. He had been Member, Advisory Committee on drafting of Optional Rules of Arbitration of Space Law Disputes under the auspices of Permanent Court of Arbitration 2010-2011.

Prof. (Dr.) Mani had appeared before the International Court of Justice as agent and counsel on several occasions. He was Legal Advisor to the Government of the Republic of Nauru in 1981-83 and again in 1985-90. He was directly involved in organising Nauru’s case against Australia before the International Court of Justice (1986–93). He was a member of the Indian legal team to the ICJ led by India’s Attorney-General, Soli Sorabjee, in Pakistan’s case against India (the Atlantique case) in 1999-2000. He was also involved in the drafting of pleadings in at least four cases before the World Court (including the Nuclear Weapons case of 1996). Prof. (Dr.) V.S. Mani was appointed as an expert member on the Panel appointed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, to draft Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to Outer Space Activities, 2011. He held membership of eight professional bodies including serving as a President (2011-2013) and Vice-President (2010-2012) of Asian Society of International Law, Singapore.