International Institute of Space Law

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Issue 5, 2021 Expand all abstracts

    States’ activity in outer space is a highly science-driven and technologically complex area. This fact determines necessity of close cooperation between states on different levels with the view of outer space exploration in the interest of humanity. The international legal governance of certain aspects of outer space activity, however, is still underdeveloped, i.a., due to the ponderosity of the treaty process and reluctance of states to engage in constructive dialogue. That said, “soft law” in the form of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions and the national legislation of states become more prominent in the area of outer space activities. Role of the national legislation in this area is hard to overestimate. Major part of the crucial aspects of the outer space activity have found their place solely in the national legislation, filling the existing lacunas and influencing formation of international space law.

Marianna Ilyashevich
Department of International Law, RUDN University, Moscow, Russia.

Access_open The Outer Space and Cyber-Attacks: How India’s Proposed National Space Law Deals with Cyber-Security

Keywords outer space, cyber-attacks, security, Draft Bill, India
Authors Ishita Das
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Draft Space Activities Bill, 2017, India’s proposed national space law, can cover issues concerning the relationship between the cyberspace and outer space sectors. Lessons can be drawn from the European Union Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems and the United States Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act in this regard. This research paper aims to throw light on the proposed national space law and ascertain if it is adequate to deal with the challenges concerning this interface.
    While Section 1 of the research paper explores the background to India’s proposed national space law, Section 2 discusses the relevant laws or policies adopted by different countries to safeguard their space assets from cyber-attacks. Section 3 highlights the challenges and opportunities under the national space law as regards this interface, and finally, Section 4 provides the concluding remarks and suggestions.

Ishita Das
NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad.

Access_open Brazilian National Law in Space: How Important is It?

Authors Ian Grosner, Petrônio Noronha de Souza, Marcia Alvarenga dos Santos e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper analyzes Brazilian space legislation to identify its effectiveness and proposes a minimum regulatory instrument to support and promote national space initiatives. The Brazilian government has had budgetary difficulties, but as the interest of the private sector grows and a “New Space” scenario opens, its space program needs to adapt, reaching for industry, academia, and government institutions to foster the global space economy's inclusive and sustainable growth. Like most Latin American countries, Brazil does not have an inspiring and secure legal framework for commercial space activities. Authorization, supervision, registration and compensation are examples of necessary regulatory standards. Other issues, like remote sensing and mitigation of space debris, also deserve proper legal treatment. A general law on space containing basic provisions for legal stability is necessary to encourage private activities. A trustworthy legal framework will help boost local and foreign investment for the development of the Brazilian space program.

Ian Grosner
Government of Brazil, Brazil.

Petrônio Noronha de Souza
National Institute for Space Research - INPE, Brazil.

Marcia Alvarenga dos Santos
National Institute for Space Research - INPE, Brazil.

Suyan Cristina Malhadas
Catholic University of Santos, Brazil.

    The U.S. Space Force will keep the U.S. lead in the growing militarization of space. However, the creation of the new military force received considerable criticism condemning it as a threat to the future of peaceful space exploration as required by international law. Indeed, the legality of the new military branch and its activities in space depends on whether it complies with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. Specifically, Article IV of the Treaty, which delineates the allowed military activity in space. There are two main interpretations of ambiguous terms contained in the Treaty, such as “in orbit”, “install”, “station”, and “peaceful purposes”, which either restrain or broaden the activity of the U.S. Space Force in space. This article argues that the U.S. Space Force can legally expand its capabilities by appealing to the right to self-defense, which derives from one of the interpretations of peaceful purposes.

Lizeth Sanchez Aguirre

Access_open A Study of the First Taiwan’s Space Law: Space Development Act

Keywords National Space Law, Space Development Act
Authors Feng-Tai Hwang
AbstractAuthor's information

    In the end of 2019, a controversy over the launch of a sounding rocket by a domestic commercial company in Taiwan attracted the attention of many Taiwanese media and the public. Through this event, the public realized that Taiwan had no regulations related to space activities.
    As a response to this situation, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) drafted the “Space Development Act” (SDA). This SDA was passed by the Legislative Yuan on May 31 of 2021, marking an important milestone in the history of Taiwan’s space development.
    Through the SDA, Taiwan expresses its position of the space development based on principle of peaceful use to the world and demonstrates the government’s determination to promote the space industry to its citizens. This paper introduces the Taiwan’s space development, the background of the development of Taiwan’s national space law, as well as the contents of the SDA.

Feng-Tai Hwang
National Space Organization, Hsinchu City, Taiwan.

Access_open An Analysis on the Regional Characteristics of National Space Law-Making

A Case Study Based on the Findings of the National Space Legislation Initiative

Authors Ikuko Kuriyama, Koichi Kikuchi, Yuri Ishizu e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper intends to explore the characteristics of national space legislation in the Asia-Pacific region, mainly based on the findings of a report compiled by the National Space Legislation Initiative (NSLI) participated by experts and practitioners of space policy and law from nine States in the Asia-Pacific region. The report’s findings suggest that the private entities’ participation in the space activities is a major driving factor behind the enactment of national space laws. Through a detailed re-investigation of the report together with information obtained from interviews, material research and comparison with cases in other regions, authors found that the States’ political, juridical, geographical factors and legal culture are likely to be additional factors, and that these may be applicable to cases in other regions. Learning about the law-making experiences of other States, as NSLI has done, would be beneficial for States interested in establishing their own national space laws.

Ikuko Kuriyama
International Relations and Research Department, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Koichi Kikuchi
Legal and Compliance Division, General Affairs Department, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Yuri Ishizu
Legal and Compliance Division, General Affairs Department, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Hiromichi Kojima
International Affairs Division, International Relations and Research Department, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Access_open State of and Options for UK Space Safety, Security and Sustainability Engagement in Europe Post-Withdrawal from the EU

Keywords ESA, EU, Safety, Security, Sustainability, UK
Authors Sa’id Mosteshar and Christoph Beischl
AbstractAuthor's information

    Viewing Space Safety, Security and Sustainability as highly topical fields and aiming to promote an informed debate about the future of the United Kingdom (UK)’s participation in the European space sector after its withdrawal from the European Union (EU), this Article discusses the UK’s beneficial options to participate in core EU and European Space Agency (ESA) engagements concerning Space Safety, Security and Sustainability as of December 2021. It finds that, post-withdrawal, UK participation options in EU Space Safety and Security engagements are now much more restricted. The UK still has various notable participation options in ESA Space Safety engagements. The Article points out several developments that might restrict UK participation in ESA and EU Space Safety and Security engagements, and provides various recommendations to the UK in this regard.

Sa’id Mosteshar
London Institute of Space Policy and Law (ISPL).

Christoph Beischl
London Institute of Space Policy and Law (ISPL).

Access_open Luxembourg Completing its Space Legislation

Keywords Luxembourg, Space Legislation, Material Law, Sustainability, International Law
Authors Mahulena Hofmann
AbstractAuthor's information

    On 1 January 2021, the general Space Law of Luxembourg entered into force. It complemented the 2017 Law on Space Resources by an authorization regime applicable to the remaining space activities under Luxembourg’s jurisdiction. However, the original law serving for authorizing space telecommunication, the 1991 Law on Electronic Media, has not been abolished and may be relevant for some space projects. Additionally, the new laws provide that the authorizations obtained on their basis do “not exempt the operator from the need to obtain other approvals or authorizations” required for their activities (Article 17 of the 2017 Law, Article 5 para 2 of the 2020 Law).

Mahulena Hofmann
SES Chair in Space, SatCom and Media Law, University of Luxembourg; Charles University Prague.