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Article

The European Union and Space

A ‘Star Wars’ Saga?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2019
Keywords EU space competence, EU Space Policy, Galileo, Copernicus, Framework Agreement ESA-EU
Authors Rebecca-Emmanuela Papadopoulou
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores the complex relationship between the European Union (EU) and space, alias space’s ever-growing place and role in the EU legal order. Two distinct paths are identified in this respect. On the one hand, as from the mid-1980s and despite the lack of an express ‘space competence’, space policy parameters were introduced in EU acts regulating telecommunications, satellite communications and electronic databases, but only to the extent necessary to serve the functioning of the single market. On the other hand, an autonomous EU Space Policy has been progressively elaborated as from the late 1990s through several initiatives, namely the strengthening of the collaboration with the European Space Agency and the setting up of the Galileo and Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)/Copernicus programmes. This tendency was corroborated by the conferral of an express space competence on the EU by the Lisbon Treaty, whose constitutional and institutional implications are explored in this article. It is submitted that the new space competence shall allow the EU to reach a stage of maturity and claim a greater degree of autonomy at the international level and, at the same time, to project its own governance model, thus enhancing the quality of international cooperation in space.


Rebecca-Emmanuela Papadopoulou
Rebecca-Emmanuela Papadopoulou is Assistant Professor, Law School, NKUA.

    From ESA’s Moon Village to Elon Musk’s Martian cities, there is increasing talk of establishing permanent human settlements or outposts in outer space. November 2018 will mark 18 years of continuous human presence in space via the International Space Station (ISS). However, these new proposals are different for several reasons. They are intended to have a permanence never envisioned for the ISS, they are intended to be ‘home’ to more than professional astronauts and fewer than a handful of space tourists, and they will be located on the Moon and other celestial bodies. The ISS is treated by the existing space law regime as a space object, or an assembly of separate space objects, regarded as functionally no different from any other space object. However, whether this approach could be taken for facilities on the Moon and other celestial bodies is the proposed focus of this paper. None of the space law treaties provide a precise definition of the term ‘space object’, however the generally accepted understanding is that “space objects may be defined as artificial man made objects that are brought into space and are designed for use in outer space.” That is not to lament the lack of a specific definition, as it would most likely be disadvantageous to have been lumbered with the 1967 conception of ‘space object’. The nonspecificity of the treaties allow scope for development and adaptation to deal with the uses now proposed. Article VIII of the Outer Space Treaty potentially provides aid in this quest as it indicates that ‘objects constructed on a celestial body’ fall within the scope of ‘space object’. Therefore, it is most likely possible to construct a regime providing a legal basis for governance of space settlements and outposts utilizing the existing ‘space object’ concept. However, there will still be potential issue around the nonappropriation principle codified in Article II of the Outer Space Treaty. Which this paper will also explore. This is a topic which is vital for the maintenance of the existing space law regime and is of growing relevance as more proposals for permanent human presence are made.


Thomas Cheney
Northumbria University, United Kingdom; thomas.cheney@northumbria.ac.uk.
Article

Fledgling Polish Space Industry Ready for Lift–Off

Law as a Risk Management Tool in the Emerging Space Sector

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 9 2018
Keywords outer space, space activity, national space law, liability in space law, Polish space law
Authors Katarzyna Malinowska
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper presents an overview of recent developments in Poland from a regulatory and institutional point of view, as well as at a programme level. Though Poles played an active part in setting out the foundations of the international space law, largely through the pioneer of space law – Polish Professor Manfred Lachs – for many years the Polish space industry barely existed, consisting only of the activities of a few engineers brave enough to set up start-ups and cooperate with big international players. The situation changed in 2012, when Poland joined ESA as a full member. Joining ESA and opening up the space industry to small players can be perceived as a significant trigger for the boost of Polish space projects. The first results came quickly. The number of Polish companies active in the sector is growing rapidly, already reaching 300 companies, forming a consistent, consolidated group of large, medium and small enterprises. Over the last five years, the attitude of the government has also been changing.
    Concerning regulatory challenges, Poland has still not adopted comprehensive space legislation, though in July 2017, a draft law on space activity was published by the government. The legal concept adopted in the national space law, especially about risk management, may influence the development of the whole national space activity, which still suffers from insufficient capital to bear the high level of risk related to ultra-hazardous activity such as space activity. The recent tendencies covering small sats, New Space, suborbital flight and space mining are also the subject of pending legislative discussions.


Katarzyna Malinowska
Professor at Kozminski University, Poland, katarzynamalinowska@kozminski.edu.pl.
Article

Politics and Pragmatism

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and Its 20 Years of Engagement with the European Convention on Human Rights

Journal East European Yearbook on Human Rights, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, European Court of Human Rights, Russia
Authors Bill Bowring
AbstractAuthor's information

    After the highly controversial YUKOS judgment of 19 January 2017, on 23 May 2017 the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation (CCRF) delivered a warmly received judgment, in which the provisions of the administrative offences legislation prohibiting stateless persons to challenge the reasonableness of their detention in special detention facilities was found to be unconstitutional. The CCRF was addressed by leading Russian human rights advocates. The judgment referred not only to Article 22 of the Russian Constitution but also to the analogous Article 5 of the ECHR. The judgment paid special attention to case-law: Guzzardi v. Italy (1980), Kemmache v. France (1994), Kurt v. Turkey (1998), Aleksei Borisov v. Russia (2015), and Z.A. v. Russia (2017), as well as Alim v. Russia (2011), Shakurov v. Russia (2012) and Azimov v. Russia (2013). Indeed, Strasbourg jurisprudence has played a central role in the development of the CCRF’s jurisprudence since Russia’s ratification of the ECHR in 1998. This article analyses and seeks to explain what in the author’s view is the CCRF’s serious engagement with a body of pan-European quasi-constitutional law, with which Russian jurists feel surprisingly comfortable and experienced. Is there really a cultural incompatibility between Russian and ‘Western’ approaches to human rights law?


Bill Bowring
Professor of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London.
Article

The Principle of Non-Appropriation and the Exclusive Uses of LEO by Large Satellite Constellations

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 8 2018
Keywords Non-Appropriation Principle, LEO, Exclusive Use, Large Satellite Constellation, Mega Constellation
Authors Yuri Takaya-Umehara, Quentin Verspieren and Goutham Karthikeyan
AbstractAuthor's information

    Newly proposed projects of large satellite constellations are challenging the established business models of the satellite industry. Targeting the Low Earth Orbit (LEO), already the most populated orbit for space applications, these constellations pose an increasing risk regarding the sustainable use of outer space. According to the Inter- Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), presenting at the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN COPUOS in 2018, the implementation level of the IADC Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines in LEO is considered as “insufficient and no apparent trend towards a better implementation is observed", when compared with GEO. In parallel, 11 private entities such as OneWeb, Telesat and SpaceX have applied for approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate large satellite constellation projects.
    Before the launch of these massive constellations, several legal issues have been identified from the perspectives of international obligations related to liability and registration. Taking them into consideration, as well as the IADC recommendations, the present article reviews one of the most fundamental principles in space law, the principle of non-appropriation, to clarify its applicability to the exclusive use of specific LEO orbits by large satellite constellations. After this clarification, the paper concludes with proposals for possible solutions.


Yuri Takaya-Umehara
The University of Tokyo.

Quentin Verspieren
The University of Tokyo.

Goutham Karthikeyan
The University of Tokyo & Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS-JAXA).
Article

What Are Space Resources? What Are Celestial Bodies?

The Need for Refined Legal Definitions in View of Recent Regulatory Efforts Concerning Space Resources

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 5 2018
Authors Irmgard Marboe and Michael Friedl
AbstractAuthor's information

    Recent efforts in the regulation of the use of space resources have raised controversial discussions about the compatibility of respective national legislation with international law. The situation is relatively unclear, also because key terms in this context have so far remained relatively vague and undefined under international law, including most importantly the terms space resource and celestial body. The purpose of the present paper is to examine how these terms, as they are used in the UN space treaties, should and could be defined in order to provide better guidance to national legislators and international fora concerned with the formulation of recommendations on space resources governance at the international level. In addition to Articles 31 and 32 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, approaches and definitions used in practice by scientists, such as astronomers, astrophysicist, and engineers, will be taken into account.
    As regards the term space resource it will be addressed to what extent the difference between renewable and non-renewable resources may be relevant for the legal qualification of outer space resources and the regulation of their use. As regards the term celestial body it will be asked whether it could be meaningful to differentiate the Moon – and other planets and stars – from asteroids in the development of legal regimes governing their use and exploitation. In this respect, recent scientific findings will be presented in more detail.
    Technological progress and its legal implications shall be discussed in view of the historical development of the legal regime of outer space, including the concepts of freedom of use, benefit of mankind and common heritage of mankind. The paper will also address comparable concepts and their development in the law of the sea.


Irmgard Marboe
University of Vienna, Austria.

Michael Friedl
University of Vienna, Austria.

    This paper tries to give orientation on which legal ramifications a plan for a Moon Village should observe. Through an analysis of the relevant provisions of international space law it shall be highlighted what kind of activities are compatible with international space law as well as which kind of legal developments of space law may be aimed at in order to make future activities of the Moon Village successful.


Stephan Hobe
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c., LL.M. (McGill); Director of the Institute of Air Law, Space Law and Cyber Law; holder of the Jean-Monnet Chair for Public International Law, European Law, European and International Economic Law at the University of Cologne. stephan.hobe@uni-koeln.de.

Rada Popova
Teaching and Research Fellow and PhD candidate at the Institute of Air Law, Space Law and Cyber Law (University of Cologne); (Mag. iur) Law Master's Degree (University of Vienna); Researcher at the 2017 Centre for Studies and Research (Hague Academy of International Law). rada.popova@uni-koeln.de.
Article

Normative References to Non-Legally Binding Instruments in National Space Laws

A Risk-Benefit Analysis in the Context of Public International and Domestic Law

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2018
Authors Alexander Soucek and Jenni Tapio
Author's information

Alexander Soucek
European Space Agency (ESA), The Netherlands, alexander.soucek@esa.int.

Jenni Tapio
Bird & Bird Attorneys, University of Helsinki, Finland, jenni.tapio@helsinki.fi.

    China’s first space station, Tiangong-1, returned to earth on 1 April 2018 after more than six years in outer space. This was not isolated and some of the previous return of space objects are Cosmos 854 in 1978, Skylab in 1979, Delta II second stage in 1997, MIR Space Station in 2001, Italian BeppoSax in 2003, US-193 in 2008 and ESA’s GOCE in 2013. In light of these events and its inevitably increasing frequencies, it is necessary to reflect on the international law governing the re-entry of space objects.
    In the current international legal framework, the state obligations cover the whole process of re-entry without obvious loopholes, preventative ex ante and responsible ex post. But the state practice is largely uneven and there are controversies and ambiguities over obligations to forewarn hazardous events and disclose information for facilitating damage control and cleanup operation; under what conditions can reentry objects be actively removed; and how to return the objects and compensate the damages. This requires adjustment and fine-tuning of some critical notions in the space treaties and other legal documents, particularly, how to apply victim-oriented and environment-friendly principles in space sector, the balance between launching states’ jurisdiction and control of space objects and the interest of other states, the definition and determination of damages and state responsibility for hazardous activities.


Xiaodan Wu
Law School, China Central University of Finance and Economics.

    Increasing commercialization and privatization of outer space and multifaceted uses and exploration of the space potential and benefits raise new challenges to the existing framework of international space law and its established procedural legal mechanisms. What are the legal perspectives of an adjustment, supersession or possible resistance of the five United Nations treaties on outer space? UNISPACE conferences have aimed to enhance international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, including the promotion of common principles. UNISPACE+50 focuses, inter alia, on the issue of the “Legal regime of outer space and global space governance” and the effectiveness of the legal regime in the 21st century. Indeed, the international community is facing today new legal questions with respect to the exploitation of space recourses, multiplication of private space businesses, unilateral grants of national licenses to commercial sector, space traffic management, need for enhanced registration and precision of responsibility and liability regime, to name few. This presentation aims to introduce a general international legal framework of various procedural legal modes of further development of the five UN treaties, both in a de lege lata and de lege ferenda perspective. Light will be shed on the respective procedures of treaty law, prerequisites of the emergence of an international custom, role of non-legally binding standards, bottom-up impact of national legislations and assessment of an effective norm-making capacity of relevant stakeholders, all transposed in the space arena with regard to the current international space debate and practice of States. A selection of the most up-todate topics will serve as examples. This comprehensive legal outline aims to highlight various options that the UNISPACE dialogue and its agenda for the future can address.


Martina Smuclerova
Prague Security Studies Institute, Czech Republic, smuclerova@pssi.cz.
Article

A Vital Artery or a Stent Needing Replacement?

A Global Space Governance System without the Outer Space Treaty?

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2018
Authors Ram S. Jakhu and Steven Freeland
AbstractAuthor's information

    The 1967 Outer Space Treaty is the foundational framework of international space law that has succeeded in effectively governing outer space. However, it is becoming increasingly possible that a major space power, or a group of States, may consider withdrawing from the Outer Space Treaty, particularly in view of the current trend towards nationalistic political populism and isolationistic foreign policies to selectively withdraw from certain key international institutions and treaties. The Outer Space Treaty could be one such treaty, especially in relation to the exclusive national exploitation of space-based natural resources by private entities, and threats to national security. Such withdrawals would likely have serious implications for global space governance, which is essentially based on this Treaty. This paper critically addresses some of the most serious legal issues related to the void that such withdrawal might create in the prevailing international governance regime for outer space.


Ram S. Jakhu
Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada,ram.jakhu@mcgill.ca (corresponding author).

Steven Freeland
School of Law, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia, s.freeland@westernsydney.edu.au.

    In 2010, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UNCOPUOS formed the Working Group on Long Term Sustainability (LTS) of Outer Space Activities, assigning it the task of formulating voluntary non-binding guidelines focusing on sustainable space utilization, space debris and space operations, space weather, and regulatory regimes. At its June 2016 meeting, the UNCOPUOS approved 12 of the proposed guidelines, while several remained on the UNCOPUOS agenda. Although the LTS Guidelines are voluntary, their adoption by the UNCOPUOS and consideration by the UNGA’s 4th Committee, are evidence of a growing awareness of their potential contribution to the evolution of space law applicable to all states. This paper explores whether the LTS Guidelines could evolve into customary legal norms as part of customary international law (CIL) and steps that could promote that evolution.


Larry F. Martinez
California State University, Long Beach, USA.

James H. Armstead
Attorney, USA.

Merve Erdem
University of Ankara, Turkey.
Article

Legal Rights and Possibilities to Access Satellite Data for a Non-Member State of Space Community

Case of Republic of Serbia

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2018
Keywords satellite data, digital divide, space law, EU, Copernicus, Republic of Serbia
Authors Anja Nakarada Pecujlic and Marko Pajovic
AbstractAuthor's information

    In today’s technologically dependent society an average person interacts 36x per day with satellite through diverse applications (e.g. to note just one example - 3/4 of the data used in weather prediction models depend on satellite data). Because of this wide use of satellites, nowadays 80+ countries currently operate at least one satellite in space (latest countries to reach space were Ghana, Mongolia, Bangladesh and Angola). Especially for states that are less economically and technologically developed, space systems are particularly useful and necessary in order to achieve “frog leaping” and decrease the economic and social inequalities between developing and developed states. Involvement in space activities gives them the opportunity to utilize state of the art technology and solve local issues (e.g. environmental, e-health, e-medicine, transportation). Taking a closer look at the satellite data and imagery, it can be observed that the users are mainly public sector clients, such as military institutions for security uses as well as environmental and agricultural authorities. Hence, in the first line it is important to examine which legal framework is governing the access to satellite data and if public sector clients from the developing countries have the same guaranteed rights under international law as the developed nations. This paper will offer in its first part an overview of existing international norms regulating access to satellite data, focusing on relevant provisions in the corpus iuris spatialis. In the second part it will compare these legal rights with the praxis, i.e. determining what are actual possibilities to exercise these rights, if a state is not involved in space activities and has never been a member of space community like in the case of Republic of Serbia. In the third and final part, the paper will zoom in on the EU flagship programs - Copernicus and Galileo - and ESA’s data access policies in regards to states that are neither EU nor ESA member states, but are striving for full European integration, as Serbia.


Anja Nakarada Pecujlic
Institute for Air Law, Space Law and Cyber Law, University of Cologne, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne 50923, Germany (corresponding author), anja.n.pecujlic@outlook.com.

Marko Pajovic
Serbian Case for Space Foundation, Dr. Ivana Ribara 105, Belgrade 11070, Serbia, marko.pajovic@serbiancaseforspace.com.

    This paper analyzes, on the one hand, the legitimate expectations and needs of the industries in terms of intellectual property protection for outer space research, as they need to be protected against violations and be free to grant exploitation licenses. On the other hand, it investigates if the use and exploitation of outer space and celestial bodies is carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries.
    The key issue of the protection of inventions in accordance with national and international regulations will also be addressed in the paper.
    The paper will start from a combined analysis of art. 5 of the IGA, establishing that each Partner shall retain jurisdiction and control over the elements it registers, and art. 21 of the IGA, which regulates intellectual property based on the quasi-territorial principle, and sets out that the regulations of the State in whose registered modules the invention occurs shall apply. The paper aims to examine national intellectual property protection regulations, highlighting possible conflicts of applicable national laws with respect to the place where the invention occurs and inventor nationality, but also regarding the recognition of the different patent systems adopted by ISS Partner States. European Partner States enjoy a privileged position, as set forth by paragraph 2 of art. 21 of the IGA.
    As the unique environment of the ISS calls for quick recognition of intellectual property licenses obtained in other Partner States, the paper will analyze the different Partners’ national legislation, existing International Conventions on the matter, such as the TRIPS Agreement, and European patent regulations, which streamline procedures and introduce stringent minimum protection standards in all the areas of intellectual property.


Gabriella Catalano Sgrosso
University of Rome, Italy, sgrossogabriella@gmail.com.
Article

The Belt and Road Initiative (B&R) Provides Opportunity for China to Dominate Space Cooperation in Asia?

An Analysis from the Legal Perspective

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 2018
Keywords Asian Space Cooperation, B&R Initiative, Competition to Regional Space Dominance, Chinese National Space Legislation, APSCO’s Legal Framework
Authors Mingyan Nie
AbstractAuthor's information

    The co-existence of more than one regional space cooperation entity in Asia presents the competition on the cooperation of space affairs in this territory. Against this background, the Asian space powers take all possible measures to attract more space partners. The Belt&Road Initiative (B&R), which is defined as a comprehensive strategy for China to meet the challenges brought by the globalization, provides opportunities for the space field. However, legal improvements are demanded to be made on both domestic and regional levels for responding to the relevant legal challenges. On the domestic level, the Chinese space regulation which is intended to be formulated before the year of 2020 is recommended to encompass fundamental principles and provisions friendly to non-governmental entities and foreign partners. On the regional level, the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) is required to transform its role from Chinese platform to compete with its Asian rivals on space cooperation affairs to a co-builder and services provider of the B&R space programs (e.g., the SIC). Accordingly, legal coordination approached to ensure implementing the “co-sharing” principle is needed to be made between APSCO and the SIC sponsor; moreover, APSCO itself must do modifying jobs to improve its legal framework to adapt the requirements of its new role.


Mingyan Nie
Faculty of Law, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

    From the inception of European integration, a regime trying to regulate and arrange competition as much as considered necessary for the benefit of society at large has been one of the core elements of the European Union’s legal order. While the European Union has over the past few decades become more and more involved in the European space effort, this has so far hardly given rise to fundamental application of this competition regime to space activities, even if space also in Europe increasingly has become commercialized and privatized. The current paper investigates the reasons and rationale for this special situation, addressing inter alia the special character of outer space activities and the space industry and the role of the European Space Agency in this respect.


Frans G. von der Dunk
University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

    The Act on the Exploration and Use of Space Resources (the Space Resources Act) adopted by Luxemburg Parliament in July 2017, in particular Article 1 which stipulates that “Space resources are capable of being appropriated”, has raised various discussions in the international community. Along with the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 (CSLCA), State Parties to the Outer Space Treaty (OST), which prohibits national appropriation of outer space whereby, has taken the first step towards an overall commercial exploitation of space resources by national recognition of private property rights thereon. Yet, such initiative, creating property rights over space resources obtained in missions conducted by private entities, has raised an inevitable question for other space-faring nations who might be State Parties to the OST or the Moon Agreement (MOON) or both of them: what should they do in their domestic laws?
    The CSLCA, in particular Title IV, was deliberately designed in a way that obviously act in accordance with existing international law. However, it grants ownership and other rights of space resources only to citizens of U.S., because of which the controversies raised by this nationality-oriented approach are continuing to focus on if its unilateral interpretation does accord with Art. I and II of the OST. The Space Resources Act, however, by stipulating conformity with Luxemburg’s international obligations in Art. 2(3) in the Space Resources Act, has taken an approach that is heading to the same direction yet different goal. Luxemburg is neither one of the super space powers nor a potential one when it officially announced its ambition on a domestic regulatory framework for commercial space industries. At the current stage, the legal certainty provided by the Space Resources Act works for the blueprint for the promising commercial investment in the space field. This article examines the similarities and differences between the CSLCA, in particular Title IV, and the Space Resources Act. By such review, this article presents the legal interpretation of core principles of international space law which converge to States’ practices on a national basis, and demonstrates to what extent are they in consistency with international space law to try to figure out for other States if there are more options of establishing a national legal framework for exploiting space resources.


Yangzi Tao
Keio University.
Article

From the Unilateral Acts of States towards Unilateralism in Space Law

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Unilateral acts of States, unilateralism, multilateralism, cooperation, space law making
Authors Tugrul Cakir
AbstractAuthor's information

    Unilateralism has generally been considered a concept with negative connotations. It should be underscored that in some cases unilateralism has resulted in changes either to customary law or treaty law, whereas in others it has not. Consequently, not every type of unilateralism can be perceived as a challenge to Space Law. Nevertheless, we can see the risks of unilateralism when not acquiesced to or generally supported by other States. It is obvious that the multilateral process is becoming more complicated than before which complicates finding multilateral solutions in Space Law. This paper argues that a better understanding of unilateral acts is necessary before delving into the matter of the unilateralism in Space Law.


Tugrul Cakir
Centre du Droit des Espaces et des Frontières, Université Jean Moulin Lyon III, France, PhD candidate, tugrul.cakir@etu.univ-lyon3.fr.

Hamza Hameed
Legal Consultant, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT).
Article

Report of the UNCOPUOS IISL-ECSL Symposium

Legal Models for Exploration, Exploitation and Utilization of Space Resources 50 Years after the Adoption of the Outer Space Treaty

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 9 2017
Authors Jinyoung Choi, Claudiu-Mihai Taiatu and Qing Zhao
Author's information

Jinyoung Choi
Jinyoung Choi, LL.B., LL.M, Ph.D. Candidate, International Institute of Air and Space Law, Leiden University.

Claudiu-Mihai Taiatu
Claudiu-Mihai Taiatu, Attorney at Law and LL.M. Candidate, International Institute of Air and Space Law, Leiden University.

Qing Zhao
Qing Zhao, LL.M. Candidate, China University of Political Science and Law.
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