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‘Who Owns Outer Space?’ wins Donner Prize for best public policy book by a Canadian

Written by on May 8, 2024

TORONTO — A book about the legal implications of developing outer space has won the $60,000 Donner Prize.

The award for the best public policy book by a Canadian went to “Who Owns Outer Space? International Law, Astrophysics, and the Sustainable Development of Space.”

Co-authors Michael Byers and Aaron Boley, an international lawyer and an astrophysicist who both teach at the University of British Columbia, will split the winnings.

Jurors praised their book as offering a “down to earth” analysis of a vital topic that explores both the scientific and governance aspects of space law.

The other nominated titles, which receive $7,500 apiece, include “The Legal Singularity: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Law Radically Better” by Abdi Aidid and Benjamin Alarie, and “Pandemic Panic: How Canadian Government Responses to COVID-19 Changed Civil Liberties Forever” by Joanna Baron and Christine Van Geyn.

Rounding out the short list were “The Privacy Fallacy: Harm and Power in the Information Economy” by Ignacio Cofone and “Wrongfully Convicted: Guilty Pleas, Imagined Crimes, and What Canada Must Do to Safeguard Justice” by Kent Roach.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2024.

The Canadian Press