International Aerospace Law & Policy Group
IALPG is Australia's air and space law firm providing legal and policy advice solutions for CASA matters, international representation, and aviation compensation claims advice and representation.
Bringing together expertise in international aviation, space, drone and defence law is how IALPG works - we have diverse expertise to bring about constructive and commercial solutions to time-sensitive legal problems even where they are politically-sensitive or part of regionally important aviation projects.
That is what IALPG does - uses niche knowledge for the advancement of aviation and those who engage with it in Asia Pacific.
In preparing our work for you we liaise with an extensive network of technical, aviation legal, and regulatory advisory professionals in Australia and overseas to ensure that local factors and issues are addressed in every solution we present.
Our expertise in international aviation regulatory policy and research gets results
Our clients include individuals, companies, international non-governmental organisations and insurers that need an expert understanding of the policies behind and best strategic use of local and international aviation laws to pursue their aviation and aerospace priorities.
We are proud to provide aviation legal services to:
Our services extend to the subject matter of:
CASA pilot and other licence holder medical and enforcement advice and defence
CASA applications (commercial/aviation/drone) and advice on use of UAS
airport planning and development
air carrier liability issues affecting operators and passengers
aviation safety regulation (policy history and regulatory advice)
aircraft and component transactions (aircraft sale and lease)
We analyse your project and commercial goals and priorities from inception through to implementation to ensure the best practical outcome for you or your client.
We take detailed instructions and work closely with your team’s key stakeholders to develop a solution and strategic advice that is both easy to implement and ensures relevant regulatory and policy factors are accounted for.
The result will be tailored to your organisation’s needs and could include:
legal advice, advocacy and representation;
detailed reports or process charts;
training packages and presentations;
verbal presentations and workshops;
media engagement training and strategies;
private meeting attendances; or
project advocacy with key stakeholders
Professional and current aviation law, policy, and regulatory comment for conferences, universities, and media.
RECENT CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS:
Presented at the First Trans-Pacific Aviation Law & Policy Conference, in Vancouver, Canada, on a range of liability issues surrounding MH17 and MH370, October 2015.
(2015), First Trans-Pacific Aviation Law & Policy Conference
Presented at the First International Seminar for Mitigation of Height Restrictions Surrounding Gimpo Airport, Mayfield Hotel, Seoul, Korea, 28 May 2015.
(2015), First International Seminar for Mitigation of Height Restrictions Surrounding Gimpo Airport
Invited to appear as an air law expert on ABC Four Corners documentary on the Pel Air crash, its aftermath and subsequent litigation (shooting in Brisbane on 23 February 2015).
(2015), ABC Four Corners documentary
Invited to Chair the Panel on Malaysia Airlines MH17 at the McGill University Aviation Liability & Insurance Annual Conference Montreal, Canada, in April 2015.
(2015), McGill University Aviation Liability & Insurance Annual Conference
Coach of the (winning) University of Queensland International Air Law Moot Team which competed in Beijing, China in April 2015.
(April 2015-November 2014), University of Queensland International Air Law Moot Team
Invited to present on a global liability trends panel at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Legal Symposium in Seoul, Korea on 27 February 2015.
(2015), International Air Transport Association (IATA) Legal Symposium
Presented at the ICAO Legal Seminar in the Asia Pacific Region, in Seoul, Korea, on a range of current liability issues including those arising from MH370 and MH17, May 2015.
(2015), ICAO Legal Seminar
Presented on a panel at the Australian Lawyers Alliance Annual National Conference, Sydney (October 24, 2014) on advice for lawyers on strategies to deal with media.
(2014), Australian Lawyers Alliance Annual National Conference
Presented to the American Bar Association, Forum on Air & Space Law annual conference, Montreal, Canada, (September 18-19 September, 2014) on a panel on aviation liability issues including Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
(2014), American Bar Association, Forum on Air & Space Law annual conference
Invited to be on organizing committee of the ALAANZ annual conference in Cairns (August, 2014).
(2014), ALAANZ annual conference
Co-organised and convened the inaugural Australian and New Zealand Air Law Moot Court competition in Melbourne (9-11 July, 2014).
(2014), Australian and New Zealand Air Law Moot Court
Elected as a committee member of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Lawyers Alliance (June 2014).
(2014), Queensland Branch of the Australian Lawyers Alliance
Co-organised and presented at the inaugural (Australian) McGill University/ALAANZ Space Law workshop in Melbourne, (May 7-9, 2014) on issues of liability for accidents in emerging modes of aerospace travel and aerospace tourism.
(2014), McGill University/ALAANZ Space Law workshop
Presented an introduction to air carrier liability law to lawyers at the Australia Lawyers Alliance Queensland State Conference, Gold Coast (February 14, 2014).
(2014), Australia Lawyers Alliance Queensland State Conference
Guest lectured at University of Canberra (UC) to postgraduate law and customs (LLM) students in “International Air Law PG: 6336”, on topics including air carrier liability for delay under international and European regulation.
(2013), University of Canberra (UC)
Guest lectured at the McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law to (LLM) in Montreal on topics including the airport privatization experience in Australia, and the economic regulation of airports in Australia.
(2013), McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law to (LLM)
Appointed Chair of the Australian Lawyers Alliance Aviation Special Interest Group in Queensland. This is the inaugural appointment in this capacity.
(2013), Australian Lawyers Alliance Aviation Special Interest Group
Judged the Fourth Sarin Foundation-Leiden University International Air Law Moot Court competition in Abu Dhabi (9-12 March 2013). Invited to organise a forthcoming edition of the international air law moot court in Australia.
(2013), Sarin Foundation-Leiden University
Invited to contribute as a book chapter co-author in a forthcoming legal text jointly prepared by the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) and McGill University entitled Sustainable Development in International Aviation Law. The chapter will be entitled “Aviation and Sustainable Development: Some Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific” and will be co-authored with National University of Singapore PhD candidates Mr Jae Woon Lee (ad hoc adviser to Republic of Korea ICAO delegation) and Mr Benoit Mayer (Research Fellow, CISDL).
(2013), Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) and McGill University
Published an article on the development of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidance on volcanic ash as it affects the island countries and territories of the Pacific in Pacific Skies aviation magazine (published by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community). Article co-authored with Dr Andrew Tupper (Regional Director of the Bureau of Meteorology, and Australian representative to the ICAO International Volcanic Ash Task Force).
(2012), Pacific Skies aviation magazine
Won second place in the European Air Law Association Prize for 2012 with an abridged version of “Air Carrier Liability for Delay: A Plea to Return to International Uniformity” (see below for full citation of original peer-reviewed published paper).
(2012), European Air Law Association Prize
Invited to guest lecture at Australian National University (ANU) to postgraduate law (LLM) students in “Advanced Principles of International Law: LAWS8183”, on topics including airspace sovereignty, and the international legal conventional and bilateral agreement arguments for/against the application of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to non-European air carriers.
(2012), Australian National University (ANU)
Guest lectured at University of Canberra (UC) to postgraduate law and customs (LLM) students in “International Air Law PG: 6336”, on topics including the international legal arguments for/against the application of the EU ETS to non-European air carriers.
(2012), University of Canberra (UC)
Published peer reviewed journal article: with Jae Woon Lee (PhD scholar at National University Singapore, and ex In-house Counsel, Korean Air): “Air Carrier Liability for Delay: A Plea to Return to International Uniformity”, in Vol 77(1) Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, 2012.
(2012), Journal of Air Law and Commerce
Presented to the International Conference on Law and Regulation of Air Transport and Space Applications, organized jointly by the International Foundation for Aviation, Aerospace and Development, and McGill University, Institute of Air and Space Law in New Delhi, India (27 – 29 April, 2012) on the topics of updates to ICAO guidance on volcanic ash, and the Australian response to the Chilean volcanic ash episodes of June 2011.
(2012), International Foundation for Aviation, Aerospace and Development, and McGill University, Institute of Air and Space Law
Invited to guest lecture on aviation law topics at the University of Petroleum Energy Studies, Dehradun, India.
(2012), University of Petroleum Energy Studies, Dehradun
Presented to the annual Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand Ltd (ALAANZ) conference, in Queenstown, New Zealand (1 – 3 April, 2012) on the topics of progress of updates to ICAO guidance on volcanic ash, and the Australian response to the Chilean volcanic ash episodes of June 2011.
(2012), Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand Ltd (ALAANZ)
Invited by the Director of the ANU College of Law LLM program, Professor Kath Hall to guest lecture in a new LLM intensive (4 day) unit at ANU, previously offered as “International Air and Space Law: LAWS8107”.
(2011), ANU College of Law LLM program
Invited by the Principal Consultant of the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies Adjunct Professor Mark Harrison to assist in preparing, and teaching a future undergraduate LLB intensive (4 day) unit at UC on Australian aviation regulation (est commencement 2014).
(2011), Centre for Customs and Excise Studies
Guest lectured at UC to postgraduate law and customs (LLM) students in “International Air Law PG: 6336” on current issues in aviation law, including legal arguments for and against the unilateral imposition of the EU ETS on foreign air carriers; and, ICAO guidance on civil air operations in areas of volcanic ash.
(2011), UC to postgraduate law and customs (LLM)
Awarded the 2010 Royal Aeronautical Society Centennial Scholarship at a presentation in London at the Society’s headquarters (first lawyer to receive this award).Published peer reviewed journal article: “ICAO Guidance on Volcanic Ash: From Risk Aversion to Risk Management”, Vol XXXVI Annals of Air and Space Law, McGill, Montréal, 2011.
(2011), 2010 Royal Aeronautical Society Centennial Scholarship
Presented at the annual ALAANZ Conference in Noosa, Queensland, (3 – 5 April, 2011) on the topic of “ICAO Guidance on Volcanic Ash: From Risk Aversion to Risk Management”.
(2011), ALAANZ Conference
Aviation and drone compensation
Worldwide compensation for victims of air disasters
Recover fair compensation if aviation tragedy strikes.
Joseph Wheeler consults as the National Head of Aviation Law, and Special Counsel to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. This relationship combines IALPG's international aviation legal network and subject matter expertise with Maurice Blackburn's national litigation expertise, experience, and resources.
Under a complex web of international (as distinct from "negligence") law, people affected by aviation accidents may be able to pursue compensation claims for personal injuries or death against airlines, operators, regulatory authorities, aviation component manufacturers and their insurers. This may be the case whether an accident or incident happens in Australia or elsewhere.
Those who have suffered injuries or dealt with the loss of family members as a result of any kind of aviation incident should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +61(0)410 192 090, or contact Maurice Blackburn Lawyers at 1800 305 568 for more information.
A selection of our experts
A global network of experts to help simplify the world of aviation law.
Our air and space law experts are strategically based around the world, and carefully selected to facilitate effective solutions that tap into current, and authoritative aerospace law and policy expertise.
IALPG provides the most cost effective connection between users of aerospace legal services and expert providers wherever both may be in the world.
Principal (Legal Practice Director) and Founder
Joseph founded IALPG as International Aerospace Law & Policy Group in 2015 when he determined to build the first law firm to focus on pilots and passengers with a view to strengthening safety for all airspace users. The firm has grown to now engage in drone and RPA advice as well as space industry advice. The decision to focus on “aviation law” happened in law school back in 2003, when Joseph learned to fly in Perth. As Leonardo Da Vinci famously said:
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return
Likewise, once Joseph first “discovered” aviation law, while reading books about flight rules and regulations, he never turned his eyes away from it and in fact went to great lengths to learn more about this niche area of law over the years.
Joseph now helps people throughout Australia and overseas with domestic and international aviation legal issues, including families who have lost loved ones in air disasters. He has experience in general aviation, airline and airport regulatory, drone, space industry, and liability issues and has provided local advice and expertise to foreign aviation lawyers and claimants, and international organisations and insurers.
Joseph defends pilots through CASA medical and enforcement matters, and his role as a Member of the Legal Committee of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) has seen him appointed to ICAO Task Forces. He advances the rights and conditions of professional pilots in Australia and globally as a Member of the Professional & Government Affairs Committee of IFALPA, and as Aviation Legal Counsel for the Australian Federation of Air Pilots. Joseph also consults as the National Head of Aviation Law, and Special Counsel, to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers to pursue serious accident litigation for claimants worldwide.
Joseph is one of the few dedicated practitioners qualified in air law from the McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law in Canada. He enjoys pursuing research which contributes to the broader body of public and private international law of which aviation law forms part. As a regional expert on aviation law, he is often invited to comment in the media on international aviation news, and writes a regular column on aero legal and aero political affairs in The Australian.
Joseph previously worked in private practice and in public sector, as an Assistant Director in the Airports Branch of the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Transport. His section was responsible for policy advice on the airport planning and development oversight for Victorian and Tasmanian federally leased airports, as well as airport economic regulation policy more broadly.
Memberships & accreditations
Queensland Law Society member
Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) Aviation Special Interest Group Chair
ALA Aviation Spokesperson
IFALPA Legal Committee member
IFALPA Professional & Government Affairs Committee member
Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand member
American Bar Association member
Lawyer Pilots Bar Association member
Royal Aeronautical Society Member (elected)
Consultant – Space Law & Strategy
After 22 years serving in the Royal Australian Air Force as a legal officer in postings at the tactical, operational and strategic level in Australia and deployed abroad, Duncan recently transferred to the Reserves and joined IALPG as a Consultant. He is recognised as a leading expert globally on the law of outer space in a military and strategic context. His experience though, spans legal support to military operations in all domains (land, sea, cyber, electronic and particularly air, as well as space).
In addition to his numerous formal qualifications and associated knowledge, Duncan has had a wealth of practical experience, including direct support to fighter pilots before and after operational sorties, support to deliberate and dynamic aspects of the targeting cycle in an Air Operations Centre, and support to and across the highest levels of government on the application of international and domestic law to military operations. He has chaired inter-departmental and international working groups on space law in a strategic context and written and contributed to many publications professionally and academically, including an award-winning article on legal reviews of emerging weapons. In addition to his position as Consultant at IALPG, Duncan is Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the MILAMOS Project (www.mcgill.ca/milamos), a PhD candidate and continues to contribute to the Australian Defence Force as a Reserve legal officer.
Duncan became closely engaged with Australian space industry as a whole in his last posting, where he managed the development of a concept for future military use of space, which included the essential relationship between the Defence space industry and the civil space industry. Duncan is keen to facilitate a stronger Australian space industry, as well as finding ways for all sectors of the global space industry to collaborate in the development of global space governance for a more stable and better connected world.
Capt. Harold (“Harry”) Foxton
Solicitor and Safety & Technical Consultant
Captain Harold G Foxton (Harry) holds an LLB from the University of New England, a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Australian National University and a BA from Griffith University. He is admitted to practice as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland. Harry is an Airbus A330 captain with 20,000 hours logged during thirty-three years of professional flying. His understanding of the three dimensional aspects of flying and ‘aviation speak’ means Harry relates easily to pilots of all experience levels and backgrounds. Harry is therefore in a position to provide sharp end legal advice pilots and others in the aviation industry need.
Harry has extensive experience flying on domestic and international air routes having worked for airlines in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the South Pacific. This experience has given Harry an in-depth working knowledge of international aviation procedures and regulatory requirements. Harry was also a Quick Access Recorder (QAR) Data analyst. The experience gained in this specialist area gave Harry an understanding of the interpretation of aircraft operating parameters to monitor trends in day-to-day aircraft operations and how this data can be used as an accident investigation tool.
Of Harry’s 20,000 hours of flying experience, 12,000 command hours are on the A330. Harry holds United States, Australian, UK, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Fijian Airline Transport Licences. He is a member of the Queensland Branches of the Honourable Society of Air Pilots (formerly the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators) and ALAANZ (Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand).
Senior Law Clerk
Karina is a Senior Law Clerk at IALPG. She recently completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of New England and is now conducting her practical legal training to be admitted to practice as a solicitor.
Prior to law, Karina completed a Diploma in Aviation, a Bachelor of Arts, and Master of Arts in Strategy and Management. In her previous career she was an Aviation Warfare Officer in the Royal Australian Navy, which saw her posted to both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft in the Royal Australian Air Force and Navy. These roles provided her with experience in tactical warfare, navigation, communications, aviation risk management, and crew resource management.
In addition to her aviation experience, Karina has also been involved with Safety Management and Auditing for Navy Patrol Boats and holds both a Certificate IV and Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety. After deciding on a career change and embarking on a career in law, Karina sought out experience in legal practice and worked as a Paralegal while living in the United States until her return to Australia in 2017.
Karina’s experience means she can apply concrete operational aviation experience to the law for the benefit of IALPG’s clients.