International Institute of Space Law

Article

A Treaty of Many Minds: An In-Depth Look at the Travaux Préparatoires of the Principles Declaration of 1963

Keywords Principles Declaration, Mexico, travaux préparatoires, lacunae, insuffisance sociale, non liquet
Authors Howard Chang
Author's information

Howard Chang
Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001.
  • Abstract

      Much of the current literature on interpretation of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 (OST) focuses on the OST’s own travaux préparatoires, but not on the Principles Declaration of 1963 (Principles Declaration), the basic ideas of which were incorporated into the OST. Many of these ideas expressed in the travaux of the Principles Declaration give a very forward-looking glimpse at issues in outer space, whether they were emphasized or simply discussed.
      This paper will show the vast behind-the-scenes discussions of issues not expressly included in the OST: issues such as commercialism in space, extraterrestrial contact, space crimes, stationary satellites, etc. For instance, in a working paper submitted by the delegation of Mexico to the ad hoc committee preceding the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), Mexico asked, inter alia, to what extent a launching State is responsible for changes that occur in human beings who it sends to inhabit celestial bodies other than Earth. This forward-looking issue was passed over in favor of the more pressing issues of the time: disarmament, liability, peaceful purposes, etc. However, the travaux’s mention of these issues may help illuminate current gaps in the law and give guidance on how to proceed within the current legal regime.

Please sign in to access the article



Did you receive an activation code but no access yet? Please activate your code here.

Forgot your password? Request new password.

Purchase access

You can purchase online access to this article. You will receive 24 hrs access @ € 17,50 (excl. VAT).

24 hrs access € 17,50 (excl. VAT)

Activate your code

If you have an access code, please activate it here.