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Miss Fiona Naysmith

Profile summary

Professional biography

Fiona Naysmith is a PhD Student affiliated with The Open University Law School and is also an affiliate member of AstrobiologyOU. She holds a Master of Laws in Space Law (with Distinction) from Northumbria Law School (2022), a Bachelor of Law from Nottingham Law School and a Diploma in Theatre from the Guildford School of Acting.

  • PhD Thesis, Working Title (2023-2025): Holding Corporate Actors Accountable for Space-Based Harms or Threats thereof to the Environment of Outer Space, or to the Interests of Other Users of Outer Space’.
  • Master’s Dissertation (2022): ‘Space Pirates: The Management of Unauthorised Activities in Outer Space’.

In her current research, Fiona is investigating the content of the duties and responsibilities of the private space sector, and with particular regards to the development of space law and governance which supports an equitable and sustainable future in outer space. This research is undertaken in tandem with investigation into applicable enforcement mechanisms at both the international and national level. Related areas of interest include the governance of space-based artificial intelligence, and space dependent technologies capable of use in warfare.

Research interests

  • Outer Space, Law and Governance
  • International Criminal Law

Other related research areas of interest:

  • Artificial Intelligence, Law and Governance
  • International Commons, Law and Governance
  • International Public Law
  • International Tort Law

Impact and engagement

Events Pending (Y2024):

European International Studies Association (EISA)

  • 17th PEC 2024, Searching for International Relations: Spaces, Styles, Struggles
  • WS Paper (August 2024): Internationalising International Space Law: Article VI - a Gateway or a Barrier?

European International Studies Association (EISA)

  • 11th EWIS 2024, The Future Yet to Come, WS16: Ecocide in International Relations
  • WS Paper (July 2024): Ecocide in Outer Space: Countering Irreversible Harms to the Space Environment

Conference Papers Presented (Y2023 - 2024):

British International Studies Association (BISA)
  • BISA 2024 Conference, International Law and Politics Working Group
  • Paper (June 2024): The Law of Outer Space: In Whose Interest?

British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)

  • BIICL/ SLS Workshop 2023, Non-State Actors in International Law
  • Paper (November 2023): Space Pirates: Securing Non-State Actor Liability in Outer Space

British International Studies Association (BISA)

  • BISA 2023 Conference, Astropolitics Working Group
  • Paper (June 2023): Space Resources Governance, The Extractavist Model: a Rival Regime

Research Poster (Y2023):

OU Graduate School Poster Competition 2023 (Winning Entry)


Space Resources Extraction: The Case for a Moratorium (2023)
Naysmith, Fiona
Postgraduate Research Poster Competition, The Open University