The Cape Town Convention

Its Application to Space Assets and Relation to the Law of Outer Space


The UNIDROIT Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment created a new international regime of secured finance applicable to aircraft and rolling stock that facilitates the financing of this equipment by, among other things, enabling lenders to create a readily enforceable security interest in the equipment. The Space Assets Protocol extends the benefits of the convention to satellites and other space assets. This book explains the operation of the convention in a manner that is useful both to lawyers engaged in satellite finance as well as to academics who desire to obtain a more complete understanding of this treaty. The book also explores the relationship between the convention and the existing body of space law.
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Biographical Note

Mark J. Sundahl, J.D. (2001) University of California, Hastings College of the Law, is an Associate Professor of Law at Cleveland State University. He has published extensively on commercial space law including Space Tourism and Export Controls: A Prayer for Relief (Journal of Air Law and Commerce).

Review Quote

"In summary, Sundahl’s scholarly book on the Cape Town Convention is well-written, and it is evident that the author did much research on the Convention and the Protocol."
-Sylvia Ospina, JD. LL.M., German Journal of Air and Space Law

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1. Introduction
1.1 An Overview of the Financing of Space Ventures
1.2 The Challenges of Financing of Space Assets
1.3 An Example of an Efficient Law of Secured Finance: Article 9 of the U.C.C.
1.4 The Cape Town Convention: A New Era of Asset-Backed Finance
1.5 The Genesis and Drafting of the Convention and Space Assets Protocol
1.6 Industry Reception of the Space Assets Protocol
Chapter 2. The Operation of the Convention and the Space Assets Protocol
2.1 The Nature of an International Interest
2.2 Definition of “Space Asset”
2.3 The Sphere of Application of the Convention
2.4 Creating an International Interest
2.5 Registering an International Interest
2.6 Priority
2.7 The Effects of Installation, Removal, and Docking of a Space Asset
2.8 Assignment of Associated Rights and Related International Interests
2.9 Assignment of Debtor’s Rights
2.10 Sales
2.11 Remedies
2.12 Other Issues
Chapter 3. The Relation of the Convention to the Law of Outer Space
3.1 An Overview of the Law of Outer Space
3.2 The Primacy of the Space Treaties
3.3 The Definitions of “Space”, “Space Object” and “Space Asset”
3.4 Liability for Damage Caused by a Space Object
3.6 Jurisdiction under the Outer Space Treaty and Registration Convention
3.7 The Convention’s Relation to the Moon Agreement
3.8 The Convention’s Relation to the ITU Instruments
Annex 1: Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment
Annex 2: Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Space Assets
Bibliography; Index of References to the Convention and the Space Assets Protocol; Subject Matter Index.


All those interested in space law, satellite finance, and international commercial law, including academics, lawyers, and bankers in these fields.


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