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    An international legal regime that comprehensively governs the exploitation of space resources is currently missing; nevertheless, the United States has enacted legislation specifically disciplining this activity. The US Space Act gives rise to the question of whether a State, through national law, can unilaterally discipline a specific use of commons over which States have joint stewardship, especially if, at the international level, such a use is not comprehensively disciplined and lacks consensus. This paper does not have the ambition to resolve the persisting academic debate surrounding the interpretation of international space law regarding the appropriation and utilization of space resources. Rather, it attempts to provide legal support for the concept that the international community is the sole subject in the position to further specify the rules to govern the use of outer space and celestial bodies, including of the resources thereof. In doing so, the US Space Act is analyzed in light of the key principles of the Outer Space Treaty relevant to the exploration and use of space resources. These principles are further subjected to critical analysis, the outcome of which is assessed against the Moon Agreement provisions. In its conclusion, the paper explores which legal steps States could possibly undertake to ensure a smooth and prosperous development of the space mining industry.


Ermanno F. Napolitano
PhD Candidate, McGill University, Faculty of Law.

Mahulena Hofmann
SES Chair in Space, SatCom and Media Law, University of Luxembourg.

    Since 2005 a growing number of states have adopted national space legislation to ensure adherence to international obligations, clarify rights under international space law, and promote regulatory certainty for space activities under their jurisdiction. While a certain degree of similarity is seen in the interpretation of these international obligations, the purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that diverging interpretations on a national level already exist. The interpretations that are reflected in national space legislation are often contextual and products of national space capabilities and ambitions. As such the Report of the Study Group of the International Law Commission on the Fragmentation of International Law regarding competing lex specialis, each with its own purpose and reasoning, will be discussed by analogy to provide insight into the processes and consequences of fragmentation of international law through diverging interpretations. Thereafter, this paper will present a brief comparative study on the scope of various national space legislation. This study will highlight variations in the interpretation of what it means to “carry out a space activity” under Article VI OST. Particular attention will be given to who is defined as carrying out a space activity and what is defined as a space activity. The conclusion will underline a need and urgency for coordination in the interpretation and application of space law, which is both beneficial and necessary to avoid the negative consequences of the fragmentation of international space law.


Vincent Seffinga
Vincent Seffinga, Department of Law, European University Institute, Villa Salviati, Via Bolognese 156, 50139 Florence, Italy.

Mari Eldholm
Mari Eldholm, in private capacity.
Report

The 2018 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition

Case Concerning Conflicting Activities in Outer Space, Planetary Protection, and Outer Space Security (The Democratic Republic of Neapilia v. The Republic of Kalvion)

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 12 2018
Authors Melissa K. Force
Author's information

Melissa K. Force
Co-Chair, Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Committee, IISL.

    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.

    The United Nations space treaties establish the basic legal framework governing outer space activities. While it is through national space legislation that the spirit and schemes in these treaties are further instilled into specific entities undertaking space activities, launch services contracts play a notable role in final stage of rendezvous and docking with the legal infrastructure at international level. For example, allocation of risk/liability mechanism in these contracts is deeply influenced by treaty provisions and national legislation. These arrangements seem to be made all the more complicated in the context of international launch projects. Growing demand from the small satellite sector for ride hitching opportunities in space launch begs the question of whether and how the launch service contracts need to be tailored to accommodate industry demand and regulatory needs. This paper purports to examine some of the regulatory issues surrounding risk/liability management under standard and piggyback launch services contracts, which reflect deliberate compliance on micro-level with the international and national legal framework on macro-level.


Kang Duan
China Great Wall Industry Corporation.

    As in previous years, this third Progress Report provides an update on the developments of The Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group. It focuses on the results of the last meeting of its first phase, which ended in December 2017 and provides an overview of the expected activities in its second phase from 2018-2019.
    Following a very brief recap of the purpose and functioning of the Working Group, the paper will focus on the major milestone achieved at the end of the first phase, namely the “Draft Building Blocks for the Development of an International Framework on Space Resource Activities”. The Building Blocks were formulated as a basis for negotiations on a future governance system for the use of space resources and were widely made available in order to gather feedback from the international community at large, the results of which will be presented.
    The paper will also report on other progress made during the second phase of the Working Group, such as the establishment of a technical panel and a socio-economic panel and the results of the fifth face-to-face meeting.
    Lastly, the paper provides insight into the prospects for a successful conclusion of the activities of the Working Group and the way forward toward an international framework for the governance of space resources.
    All authors are closely involved with the creation and activities of the Working Group.


Tanja Masson-Zwaan
International Institute of Air & Space Law, Leiden University, the Netherlands, t.l.masson@law.leidenuniv.nl (corresponding author).

René Lefeber
Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands, rene.lefeber@minbuza.nl.

Giuseppe Reibaldi
The Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group, the Netherlands, giuseppe.reibaldi@gmail.com.

Dimitra Stefoudi
International Institute of Air & Space Law, Leiden University, the Netherlands, d.stefoudi@law.leidenuniv.nl.

    In the light of the recently renovated interest in returning humans to the Moon, this paper addresses the main legal challenges related, with the goal to show practical solutions under the current system of international space law.
    In order to do so, the paper first presents an overview of current lunar exploration programs, arguing that public and private missions raise different challenges and thus require specific models.
    Following, it accordingly assesses possible legal solutions for the regulation of these programs. On the one hand, States’ exploration programs may be governed by a revised version of the Intergovernmental Agreement already concluded for the International Space Station. On the other hand, private activities could be better organized relying on Articles VI-IX OST as integrated by a new UNGA Resolution, ad hoc bilateral agreements and specific provisions in national space legislations.
    Finally, the paper concludes underlining the importance of international cooperation as the key to ensure the peaceful use and exploration of outer space.


Antonino Salmeri
Antonino Salmeri is a Doctoral Candidate in Space Law at the University of Luxembourg, where under the supervision of Prof. Mahulena Hofmann he is writing his dissertation on Enforcement Challenges of Space Mining as Multi-Level Regulatory System. Furthermore, Mr. Salmeri holds an Advanced LL.M. in Air & Space Law (cum laude) from the University of Leiden, an LL.M. in Law and Government of the European Union (cum laude) from the LUISS Guido Carli University and a Master Degree in Law (cum laude) from the University of Catania.
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.



Melissa Kemper Force
B.S.Ch.E., J.D., LLM. General Counsel, Spaceport America, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA, melissa.force@spaceportamerica.com.
Article

Seeing People

Using Satellites for the Benefit of All

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2017
Authors P.J. Blount
Author's information

P.J. Blount
University of Mississippi School of Law.
Article

The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group

Second Progress Report and the Way Forward

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 2017
Authors Tanja Masson-Zwaan, René Lefeber, Giuseppe Reibaldi e.a.
Author's information

Tanja Masson-Zwaan
Tanja Masson-Zwaan (corresponding author), International Institute of Air & Space Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands, t.l.masson@law.leidenuniv.nl.

René Lefeber
René Lefeber, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands, rene.lefeber@minbuza.nl.

Giuseppe Reibaldi
Giuseppe Reibaldi, Special Space Policy Advisor, The Netherlands, giuseppe.reibaldi@gmail.com.

Dimitra Stefoudi
Dimitra Stefoudi, International Institute of Air & Space Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands, d.stefoudi@law.leidenuniv.nl.
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

Rebus sic stantibus and International Space Law

The Evolution of the Space Treaties in the Next Fifty Years

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2017
Authors Dimitra Stefoudi
Author's information

Dimitra Stefoudi
International Institute of Air and Space Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Nicholas Puschman
DipEU, L.LB (Hons.), L.LM, Graduate Trainee in the International Law Division, European Space Agency and Executive Secretary of the European Centre for Space Law (ECSL).

Nicholas Puschman
DipEU, L.LB (Hons.), L.LM, Graduate Trainee in the International Law Division, European Space Agency and Executive Secretary of the European Centre for Space Law (ECSL).
Article

Access_open Report of the IAA/IISL Scientific-Legal Roundtable

Guadalajara, Mexico, 29th September 2016

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 9 2016
Authors Marc Haese

Marc Haese
Article

Access_open Report of the 59th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space

Guadalajara, Mexico, 2016

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 8 2016
Authors P.J. Blount and R. Moro-Aguilar

P.J. Blount

R. Moro-Aguilar

Melissa K. Force
MK Force Consulting, Los Angeles, CA, Force@MKForce.com.
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