From the website of HKU's Development and Alumni Affairs Office: On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, Earth’s first artificial satellite, and pushed the US into second place in the Space Race. This resulted in the United States Congress passing the Space Act that created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Sputnik also had far-reaching legal implications and led to the creation of space law that governs human activity in outer space. With private companies leading a new commercial space race, space law faces many new challenges.
Professor Zhao Yun is Head of the Department of Law at The University of Hong Kong. He was Director of the Centre for Chinese Law (2013-17) and is currently a Standing Council Member of the Chinese Society of International Law.
He received his PhD from Erasmus University Rotterdam, having previously received an LLM from Leiden University and an LLM & LLB from China University of Political Science and Law.
The focus of Professor Zhao’s research is on space commercialisation and privatisation, including the liberalisation of telecommunications services within World Trade Organization frameworks, and national space legislation in China. He recently began work on international co-operation on space activities and space sustainability. And in view of the need of an appropriate legal regime for space mining, he put forward suggestions for an international space authority to govern space mining.
He has completed a project on commercialising the International Space Station, with particular reference to Hong Kong’s Future Participation, and is currently working on a multilateral regime for space resource mining and space sustainability.
Professor Zhao is also researching dispute resolution, in particular online dispute resolution, to facilitate the dispute resolution process. He has argued on various occasions for the need to have an online dispute resolution mechanism and a set of online dispute resolution rules for the resolution of B2B disputes.
He is listed as arbitrator in several international arbitration commissions. Professor Zhao is also a founding council member of Hong Kong Internet Forum, and a member of the International Institute of Space Law in Paris, the Asia Pacific Law Association, and the Beijing International Law Society.
He sits on the editorial teams of several Social Science Citation Index journals, including the Hong Kong Law Journal and the Journal of East Asia and International Law. He was the winner of the Prof.Dr. I.H.Ph. Diederiks-Verschoor Award 2006 from the International Institute of Space Law in France, the first winner of the Isa Diederiks-Verschoor Prize in the Netherlands, and also the first winner of the SATA Prize from the Foundation of Development of International Law in Asia.
He is published widely and his recent publications include Dispute Resolution in Electronic Commerce; Liberalization of Electronic Commerce and Law; Space Commercialization and the Development of Space Law; Mediation Practice and Skills; and National Space Legislation in China: An Overview of the Current Situation and Outlook for the Future.