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    Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty, requiring “authorization and continuing supervision” of “national activities in outer space” including those of “nongovernmental entities”, has always been viewed as the primary international obligation driving the establishment of national space legislation for the purpose of addressing private sector space activities. As the Article itself did not provide any further guidance on precisely what categories of ‘national activities by nongovernmental entities’ should thus be subjected to national space law and in particular to a national licensing regime, in academia generally three different interpretations soon came to be put forward on how to interpret the key notion of ‘national’ in this context as scoping such national regimes.
    Looking back at 50 years of national space legislation addressing private sector space activities, however, we now have the possibility to look not only at the writings of learned experts, at best a subsidiary source of public international law, but at actual State practice-cum-opinio iuris on the matter. The present paper, on the basis of a survey of more than two dozen existing national space laws, will therefore be able to considerably narrow the appropriate interpretation of ‘national activities in outer space’, so as to diminish the uncertainty as regards what categories of private space activities States may be held responsible for, thus both narrowing the permissible discretion of individual States in scoping their national space law regimes and increasing the coherence and transparency of space law at the international level.


Frans G. von der Dunk
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Law, Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Program.
Article

Report of the 60th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space

Adelaide, Australia, 2017

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 6 2017
Authors P.J. Blount and R. Moro-Aguilar

P.J. Blount

R. Moro-Aguilar
Article

The Outer Space Treaty

Its First Fifty Years

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2017
Authors Peter Jankowitsch
Author's information

Peter Jankowitsch
President, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), former Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs, and former Chairman, UNCOPUOS
Article

The Negotiation of the "Moon Agreement"

2009 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 48th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "30th Anniversary of the 'Moon Agreement': Retrospect and Prospects"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 9 2009
Authors H. Türk

H. Türk
Article

Program of the Symposium

2008 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 47th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "Legal Implications of Space Applications for Global Climate Change"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 8 2008
Article

Report of the Symposium

2008 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 47th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "Legal Implications of Space Applications for Global Climate Change"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 8 2008
Authors G.M. Goh

G.M. Goh
Article

Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization Convention

The Impact of Outer Space Law on Regional Policies

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2007
Authors H. Zhao

H. Zhao
Article

Program of the Symposium

2007 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 46th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "Capacity Building in Space Law"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 7 2007
Article

Report of the Symposium

2006 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 45th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "Legal Aspects of Disaster Management and the Contribution of the Law of Outer Space"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 9 2006
Authors A. Ito

A. Ito
Article

Report of the Symposium

2005 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 44th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "Recent Developments in Remote Sensing and the Desirability of Reviewing the 1986 United Nations Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 7 2005
Authors T.L. Masson-Zwaan

T.L. Masson-Zwaan
Article

Report of the Symposium

2004 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 43rd Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "New Developments and the Legal Framework Covering the Exploitation of the Resources of the Moon"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 7 2004
Authors T.L. Masson-Zwaan

T.L. Masson-Zwaan
Article

Report of the Symposium

2003 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 42nd Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "Reinforcing the Registration Convention"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 7 2003
Authors T.L. Masson-Zwaan

T.L. Masson-Zwaan
Article

The 1967 Space Treaty: Thirty Years On

Keynote Address at Special Dinner Held by IISL and SAGAT at Turin Airport on October 7, 1997

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue Issue 0 The 1967 Space Treaty: Thirty Years On 1997
Authors B. Cheng

B. Cheng

P. Jankowitsch

T.L. Masson-Zwaan
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