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    The increasing interest in extracting natural resources from celestial bodies raises many issues, among which guaranteeing environmental standards is paramount. There is more than a reasonable concern that industrial exploitation of the outer space lead to similar or even greater disasters than the ones already afflicting Earth. There is a consensus among the legal community that international law does provide environmental protection through the Outer Space Treaty in its Article IX. Because of its generality, however, this provision precludes the agreement from effectively protecting the outer space's environment in the context of specific activities. The present contribution aims to explore appropriate legal responses. One, often proposed, is that such a response should take the form of a new international agreement. Considering the lengthy process of treaty-making, and the reluctance of States to adopt binding international documents limiting their freedom in space, there is a high chance that space mining activities will have started by the time there is any kind of international agreement. Therefore, another approach must be envisaged, which rests with the analysis of existing environmental standards that could be leveraged to answer the challenges of space mining activities. Special attention will be paid to the enforcement of the Outer Space Treaty and how it should be combined with what is usually referred to as “soft laws”. As a conclusion, the contribution attempts to answer the question of the transforming role of States in complementing existing international standards for the protection of the outer space environment.


Gabrielle Leterre
Doctoral Researcher, Université du Luxembourg, Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, Luxembourg.

Bernhard Schmidt-Tedd
Head of Legal Support, German Space Agency (DLR).

Erik Pellander
Research Assistant, BHO Legal, Cologne, Germany.

Prof. LING Yang
China University of Political Science and Law, Faculty of International Law, No. 25 Xi Tu Cheng Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100088, China, lingy450@yahoo.com.cn
Article

The Need to Implement the Outer Space Treaty through National Law in the Light of the Current and Foreseeable Space Activity

2010 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 49th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "National Space Legislation: Crafting Legal Engines for the Growth of Space Activities"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 9 2010
Authors A. Kerrest

A. Kerrest
Article

Re-Thinking Responsibility in the Law of Outer Space

Nandasiri Jasentuliyana Keynote Lecture on Space Law & 2nd Young Scholars Session

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2010
Authors G.J. Duberti

G.J. Duberti
Article

Liability for Surface Damage Caused Aerospace Vehicles

Third Party Liability Issues in Commercial Space Activities

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2009
Authors P.S. Dempsey

P.S. Dempsey
Article

Defininf Subject Matter under Space Law: Near Earth Objects versus Space Objects

Legal Aspects of Natural Near Earth Objects (NEOs)

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2008
Authors F.G. von der Dunk

F.G. von der Dunk
Article

Report of the 51st Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space in Glasgow, Scotland, September 2008

Glasgow Session Reports

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 6 2008
Authors C. Doldirina, F. Tronchetti, Y. Takaya-Umehara e.a.

C. Doldirina

F. Tronchetti

Y. Takaya-Umehara

S. Ospina

C. Constant-Jorgenson

A.F. dos Santos
Article

Hosting Galileo Ground Stations: Liability and Responsibility Issues under Space Law

Legal Aspects of Satellite Applications: Navigation and Remote Sensing

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2007
Authors F.G. von der Dunk

F.G. von der Dunk
Article

Space for Tourism? Legal Aspects of Private Spaceflight for Tourist Purposes

Legal Aspects of Space Transportation and Launching

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2006
Authors F.G. von der Dunk

F.G. von der Dunk
Article

Taking Garbage Outside: The Geostationary Orbit and Graveyard Orbits

Other Legal Matters, Including the Relationship Between Government and Private Sector in Space Activities

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 6 2006
Authors M. Mejía-Kaiser

M. Mejía-Kaiser
Article

Liability for Injury, Loss or Damage to the Space Tourist

Legal Issues Relating to Private Enterprise, Property Rights, and Space Applications

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2004
Authors Z.N. O'Brien

Z.N. O'Brien
Article

Sovereignty and Space Traffic Management

Space Traffic Management and Navigation

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2003
Authors A.F. dos Santos

A.F. dos Santos
Article

Legal Constituencies and Economic Efficiencies of Space Solar Power (SSP): A Joint Japanese And American Perspective

19th IAA-IISL Scientific-Legal Roundtable in Toulouse, France, 2001: "Scientific and Legal Implications of Establishing Solar Power Systems on the Geostationary Orbit"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 5 2001
Authors A.C. Charania and Y. Takaya

A.C. Charania

Y. Takaya
Article

The Delimitation of Outer Space Revisited

Other Legal Matters, Including the 30th Anniversary of the Rescue Agreement of 1968

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 1998
Authors F.G. von der Dunk

F.G. von der Dunk
Article

The Dark Side of the Moon - The Status of the Moon: Public Concepts and Private Enterprise

Concepts of Space Law and the Outer Space Treaty

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 1997
Authors F.G. von der Dunk

F.G. von der Dunk

J. Monserrat Filho
Article

Some Comments on the Significance of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty for the Establishment and Development of Space Law of Our Times

1997 IISL-ECSL Space Law Symposium Held on the Occasion of the 36th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS in Vienna, Austria: "Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 5 1997
Authors V. Kopal

V. Kopal

H.L. van Traa-Engelman
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