Bringing order to the final frontier: Space and the rules based order

Date & time

6–7.30pm Thursday 4 October 2018


Finkel Theatre

John Curtin School of Medical Research, 131 Garran Road, The Australian National University


Frances Adamson, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade


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Presented by the Centre for International & Public Law and the United Nations Association of Australia Academic Network

Public lecture
Frances Adamson

In this distinguished Public Lecture, co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of Australia and the ANU Centre for International and Public Law, Frances Adamson, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will discuss the need to extend the rules-based international order to Space. The Australian Government’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper predicts that Australia’s economic and security interests in Space will increase considerably in coming decades. This will create exciting opportunities, but it will also present risks. As the White Paper warns, ‘potential adversaries’ might exploit Space to ‘threaten our defence networks’ and ‘obtain sensitive information about our security’. The Paper thus stresses the need for ‘robust rules and norms’ to maximise opportunities and minimise the risks of increased access to Space.


Following the lecture Professor Anna Moore, Director of the Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (Mount Stromlo Observatory), and Professor Sally Wheeler, Dean of the ANU College of Law, will reflect on the regulatory challenges posed by increased access to Space.


  • Frances Adamson »

    Frances Adamson has been the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade since 2016. She previously held various significant diplomatic appointments, including as International Adviser to the Australian Prime Minister (2015-16), Ambassador to the People's Republic of China (2011-15), Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (2005-08) and Representative to the Australian Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei (2001-05).

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