International Institute of Space Law

Article

Does the End Justify the Means?

A Legal Study on the Role and Consequences of Normative Pluralism in International Space Governance

Keywords space law, space governance, normative pluralism, soft law, national space law
Authors Alexander Soucek en Jenni Tapio
Author's information

Alexander Soucek
Alexander Soucek, European Space Agency (ESA), Paris, France/Noordwijk, the Netherlands, alexander.soucek@esa.int.

Jenni Tapio
Jenni Tapio, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, Finland, jenni.tapio@helsinki.fi.
  • Abstract

      The exploration and use of outer space, an area beyond national jurisdiction, is subject to international legal norms: a multilateral effort since more than half a century. However, the pressure on solutions facilitated or enabled by public international law is augmenting, not least because of new space actors, novel ideas to use and explore outer space and the increasingly ubiquitous concern of maintaining the long-term sustainability of spaceflight. Different actors produce standards, best practices, guidelines and other governance tools; beyond COPUOS, various initiatives of different character by industry and other actors have emerged, in particular in the area of sustainable uses of outer space. This article explores the place and effects of normative pluralism and non-legally binding norms of behaviour in global space governance from a perspective of international law.

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