International Institute of Space Law

Article

The Militarization of Outer Space as a Factor of Innovation of International Humanitarian Law

A Comparative Research

Keywords international humanitarian law, outer space
Authors Alexsandro Souza de Lima
Author's information

Alexsandro Souza de Lima
Alexsandro Souza de Lima, Outer Space Affairs Monitoring Department, Institutional Security Office of The Presidency of The Republic of Brazil.
  • Abstract

      Humanity, in more recent years, has witnessed a dramatic acceleration of changes in various aspects of life. The various technological advances throughout history have their effects in many different fields of science, among which International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is not exempt. In addition to customary norms, IHL has been codified in various treaties. It should be also noted that other normative instruments have been dynamically inserted within the scope of IHL, with the purpose of following the evolution of war technology, linked to the reception of humanitarian issues by States, standing as additional protocols. However, there is controversy about the need to update IHL in the face of certain new technologies, even though they may make belligerence possible in other environments, such as cyber and outer space. At this point, some theorists argue that the principles enshrined in that branch of law are sufficient to cope with the aforementioned developments. However, practice has shown that these new war like scenarios have raised doubts in the international community as to the applicability of IHL in certain circumstances that were previously unexplored. For this reason, efforts have been made to understand the topic, resulting in documents that, if not binding, at least bring a guiding character to the issue. It is, therefore, this theme that this research project addresses, seeking to identify the need to update the IHL due to the novelty of the considered environment.

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