International law of space

For more on private property rights in space see the page on mining in space.

(1) Overview of International Space Law from the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs website (UNOOSA). Very detailed and a good starting point for this topic.  I draw particular attention to two pages from this site:

     (a) Current status of all international agreements relating to activities in outer space 

     (b) 1967 Outer Space Treaty

(2) European Centre for Space Law (ECSL)

     (a) ECSL newsletters

(3) The International Institute of Space Law

(4) “Responsible Space Exploration and Use: Balancing Stakeholder Interests”. 2013 paper by Pascale Ehrenfreund, Margaret Race, and David Labdon. Anticipates a significant increase in state, commercial and private missions beyond traditional exploration, and growing need to establish more comprehensive regulations governing these activities. Discusses and compares the main international treaties governing Antarctica, the oceans, and celestial bodies, as well as the physical, institutional, and ethical concerns that will arise. 13 pages.

(5) Enlightened state-interest — 2010 paper proposing a legal framework for protecting the “common interest of all mankind” from Hardinian tragedy. 

(6) Private property on the Moon, asteroids etc
>> “Who Owns the Moon? The Case for Lunar Property Rights”, in Popular Mechanics dot com, May 31, 2008.  A very clear exposition of case for space property rights. The international climate has warmed to property rights and capitalism over the past 30 years.  Space powers could overturn the Moon Agreement and make a new treaty that recognizes property rights and encourages investment. Property rights attract private capital, and a lunar land rush may be just what we need to get things going again.

>> “Marx on Mars: from  res communis to  res communist”.  Go to page 33 of the link. A frontal assault on the Moon Agreement’s embracing of the Common Heritage of Mankind principle.  The principle is based
(he says) on Marxism, and Marxism (he says) is a fallacy.  Paper presented to an international conference on the law of outer space in 2011 by Virgiliu Pop, a Romanian space lawyer and author.  The link is to the conference proceedings; Marx on Mars is pp 23-38.  (The full proceedings take up 128 pages)

>> “The 1967 Outer Space Treaty: A Brief Reflection”: paper presented at United Nations/Nigeria Workshop on Space Law in 2005, by Maurice Andem, Professor of Private International and Comparative Law. The 1967 Treaty as the Magna Carta of international space law. Strongly supports the concept of the Moon and its natural resources as the common heritage of mankind (CHM) and not subject to national appropriation. Argues it is the sacred duty of all States to support the efforts of the UN in consolidating and strengthening the rule of law in outer space. Urges African Governments to ratify all the five outer space treaties.  10 pages.

>> Discussion of the main terms of the Moon Agreement and of the meaning of common heritage of mankind.  Some sentences obscure, as the author not fully at home in English. Paper presented at a space law symposium in 2009. 9 pages.  

(7) Some diverse links to the space law debate

>> “The Non-Appropriation Principle Under Attack: Using Article II of the Outer Space Treaty in its Defence”, Fabio Tronchetti, International Institute of Air & Space Law, Leiden University, 2007. The non-appropriation principle is fundamental to space law but is now under attack by those who wish to promote commercial use of outer space or claiming  private ownership rights over the Moon and other celestial bodies.   The article counters such proposals demonsrates their fallacy and any amendment or modification should only be carried out by all States acting collectively. 
11 pages.

>> Montreal declaration, A new legal framework for space needed. Two links:
   (a)  Story in Space News June 23, 2014
   (b)  Montreal declaration text, 31 May 2014

>> Bogus claims to sell the Moon. (The heading is “Could lunar real estate spark future war?” but this belies the article’s contents.) 2/2/2004
>> Report of the Group of Experts on the Ethics of Outer Space to United Nations General Assembly, 5 March 2003

>> “Redux: It’s time to rethink international space law”  Recommends voluntary international norms instead of treaties. An example of this is space debris, which the United States has taken the lead in advancing practices to mitigate. From Space Review, November 2014.

>> "Shedding some light on the International Seabed Authority" A University of Southampton blog post, March 9, 2014, about the law governing mining at deep-sea vents and possible impacts of this activity on marine life, and the need for effective regulation.  Discusses the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), under which the deep sea is defined as “the common heritage of mankind” (like the Moon in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty).

>> “Still crazy after four decades”  Making a case for withdrawing from the 1967 Outer Space Treaty by John Hickman, 2007. He blames the non-appropriation clause in the Treaty for lack of space exploration. He calls “preposterous” the language of the agreement, that all of outer space was declared the “Common Home of Mankind”. Thereby he displays his ignorance, since the Moon Treaty speaks of the "common heritage of mankind" (art.11) not "common home". I've included this on my website as an example, amongst many, of a rant which need be given no credence.  

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