Mock trial in Israel to debate who pays when asteroid hits
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Mock trial in Israel to debate who pays when asteroid hits

International Court of Justice judges to attend event in Jerusalem focusing on legal aspects of a simulated space disaster

A frame from the 1998 Hollywood blockbuster 'Armageddon,' which tells the story of a team that lands on a massive asteroid to prevent it from destroying the earth (courtesy Touchstone Pictures)
A frame from the 1998 Hollywood blockbuster 'Armageddon,' which tells the story of a team that lands on a massive asteroid to prevent it from destroying the earth (courtesy Touchstone Pictures)

Three International Court of Justice judges are scheduled to arrive in Israel in October to participate in a mock-trial concerning the legal aspects of a simulation scenario in which an asteroid has nearly struck the planet.

Peter Tomka, Dalveer Bhandari, and Kirill Gevorgian will serve as judges at the annual Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, which will be hosted this year in Jerusalem, according to the International Astronautical Federation.

During the mock trial, four teams of law students from Nigeria, India, Greece and the United States, will deliberate a case in which world powers intentionally shift the course of a giant asteroid set to crash into earth, thereby causing a massively damaging shockwave in another country.

In the simulation, world powers are divided regarding legal issues concerning damage payment as well as responsibility for the terrible disaster, with each one of the four teams representing a different legal entity.

The annual competition will be conducted for the 24th consecutive year on October 12-16 at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem under the supervision of the International Institute of Space Law.

Over 3,000 scientists from around the world are set to take part in the event, which will also highlight Israel’s space exploration efforts, according to Israeli news site NRG.

Throughout the convention in Jerusalem, some 2,000 lectures on space and science are set to take place as well, and an exhibition on space exploration will be set up at the convention center.

A special session is also slated for the convention to discuss legal issues relating to space exploration, such as traffic rules for spaceships, mining resources on other planets, and space tourism.

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