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Criminal Issues in International Space Law

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2016
Keywords space law, criminal law, international law, jurisdiction, space exploration
Authors Michael Chatzipanagiotis
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper attempts to outline the rules and principles of international space law governing criminal activity in outer space or on board a space object. The relevant issues concern mainly the exercise of criminal jurisdiction, including extradition, and the disciplinary authority on board a space object. First, we examine the pertinent rules of general international law. Then, we analyse the applicable provisions of general space law, namely the Outer Space Treaty and the Moon Agreement, as well as the special rules on the International Space Station. Subsequently, we attempt to propose solutions to the main future challenges in international space law, which regard criminal behaviour on board aerospace vehicles, aboard private space stations, and issues regarding interplanetary missions and human settlements on celestial bodies.


Michael Chatzipanagiotis
Attorney-at-law, Athens, Greece; Adjunct Professor, European University of Cyprus, Law School, Nicosia, Cyprus.
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