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Journal International Institute of Space Law x

    The milestone provisions in the Outer Space Treaty designate outer space and celestial bodies as an area beyond national jurisdiction in which national jurisdiction extends only to space objects and persons in outer space. In view of upcoming commercial space mining activities and the recent national legal developments, it is of crucial importance to delineate the different levels of legal authority over space resource activities and to analyze them systematically. What is indisputable, in the first place, is that any national appropriation in outer space is prohibited by Article II OST, while the appropriation of resources is not explicitly mentioned. More specific provisions are formulated in the Moon Agreement. Its Article 11 prohibits the appropriation of resources on celestial bodies and states that such activities — as soon as they become feasible — must be regulated by the international community of States. While this moratorium on resource exploitation is binding only for the 18 ratifying State parties to the Moon Agreement, there is no doubt that the legal authority to regulate over outer space lies with the international community and not with single States. Unilateral legislative acts must conform to existing international provisions as outer space is an area beyond national jurisdiction. Where such explicit provisions are lacking – as is the case with the appropriation of space resources – the lawful scope of national authority must nevertheless be delineated through international regulation as States lack the national prescriptive authority to regulate over outer space and celestial bodies.


Stephan Hobe
Prof. Dr. Stephan Hobe is Director of the Institute of Air Law, Space Law and Cyber Law and Holder of the Chair for Public International Law, European Law, European and International Economic Law at the University of Cologne.

Rada Popova
Rada Popova is a senior lecturer (public international law, EU law and constitutional law) at the University of Cologne and research fellow at the Institute of Air Law and Space Law in Cologne.

    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.

    Air, Water, Food, Shelter, Sleep: These are the five basic requirements for a human being to survive. Providing these basics to a single person is a harrowing challenge; providing them to 1,200 souls on the merciless Martian landscape is nearly impossible. Nonetheless, in 2032 SpaceX successfully constructed Valinor – the first human scientific settlement on Mars-by transporting hundreds of scientists, engineers, scientific experiments and the most technologically advanced survival equipment ever created to the red planet. Each year saw more successful missions to Valinor, and the world community grew more excited about the realization of mankind’s expansion into the cosmos. However, after 15 years of exciting scientific discoveries and over 350 billion dollars invested in its survival and sustainability, Valinor remained monetarily profitless. After the stock market crash of 2047, SpaceX was purchased by OnlyEarth Corp., an oil conglomerate that saw Valinor as a threat to its fiscal security. Over the next three years, OnlyEarth reduced its regular supply missions to Valinor, demanding that Valinor produce massive quantities of Martian raw materials in exchange for fresh supplies from Earth. When Valinor refused to comply with these demands, OnlyEarth ended re-supply missions altogether. With the flow of corporate resources now stemmed, Valinor’s leadership was forced to redesign the sociopolitical and legal structure of its 1,200+ inhabitants to ensure the colony’s survival.


Marshall Mckellar
Marshall Mckellar is Assistant Chief Counsel, NASA: Kennedy Space Center.

Yvonne Vastaroucha
Yvonne Vastaroucha is National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Faculty of Law.
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.

    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.

    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.
Article

Can Japan Launch Itself into Becoming a Leader in Global Space Business with Its New Space Legislation?

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Japan, Space Startups, Space Activities Act, New Space Business, Venture Capital
Authors Masaya Uchino
AbstractAuthor's information

    On November 2016, the Japanese Diet passed the Space Activities Act (“SAA”) and the Satellite Remote Sensing Act in an effort to modernize its domestic space legislation and encourage its small but growing private sector to become global leaders in burgeoning new types of space business. This paper will examine whether it is feasible for these new laws to propel Japan enough to catch up with current market leaders such as SpaceX in the United States. The paper will have three parts. First, the paper will outline the legal regime that applies to the Japanese space industry. Second, the paper will analyze the impact of Japan’s new space legislation and provide a comparative analysis of how they measure up to other space-faring nations’ space laws. The paper will find that various aspects of Japan’s new space laws have great potential to attract significant foreign space business to be conducted in Japan. The third part of the paper examines whether the country’s economy can take advantage of these new legal developments and spur growth among startups. This article discusses how the Silicon Valley model may not be compatible with the financial culture in Japan. After examining how currently thriving startups are financed by corporate investments, the paper concludes that corporations need to finance space startups in more traditional forms of financing in Japan in order to infuse capital into the space industry. Drawing from legal and financial experts, this paper concludes that both legal and financial aspects are coming together for Japanese private space business. Depending on the industry’s momentum, the SAA may launch Japan to become globally competitive in the near future.


Masaya Uchino
ZeLo Law, Attorney-at-Law qualified in the United States (California and Hawaii).

Olga A. Volynskaya
Russian Foreign Trade Academy, Russian Federation, o.a.volynskaya@gmail.com.
Article

Keeping Up with the Neighbours?

Reviewing National Space Laws to Account for New Technology – The Australian and Canadian Experience

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2017
Authors Steven Freeland and Ram S. Jakhu
Author's information

Steven Freeland
Prof. Steven Freeland, Western Sydney University, Australia, s.freeland@westernsydney.edu.au.

Ram S. Jakhu
Prof. Ram S. Jakhu, McGill University, Canada, ram.jakhu@mcgill.ca.

Brian J. Egan
Legal Adviser, United States Department of State.

Philippe Clerc
Head of Legal Department – Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) – 2 Place Maurice Quentin 75 039 Paris cedex 01 France. philippe.clerc@cnes.fr.

Jairo Becerra
Jairo Becerra, School of Law, Universidad Catolica de Colombia, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia, jabecerrao@ucatolica.edu.co, jairoa.becerra@urosario.edu.co.

Juan Ramón Martinez
Juan Ramón Martinez, School of Law, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia, juan.martinez@urosario.edu.co.

Daniela Almario
Daniela Almario, School of Law, Universidad del Rosario, Colombia, almario.daniela@urosario.edu.co.

Olga A. Volynskaya
ROSCOSMOS, Russian Federation, volynskaya.oa@roscosmos.ru.

Ram S. Jakhu
Prof. Ram S. Jakhu, McGill University, Canada: ram.jakhu@mcgill.ca

Steven Freeland
Prof. Steven Freeland, Western Sydney University, Australia: s.freeland@westernsydney.edu.au
Article

Avoiding Legal Black Holes

International Humanitarian Law Applied to Conflicts in Outer Space

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 2015
Authors Cassandra Steer
Author's information

Cassandra Steer
McGill Institute of Air and Space Law, Canada

Olga Volynskaya
Federal Space Agency, Russia

Eytan Tepper
Doctoral Candidate, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, China. Former Counselor to the Israeli Ministry of Economy

Jack M. Beard
Assistant Professor of Law, University of Nebraska College of Law; former Associate Deputy General Counsel (International Affairs), Department of Defense.

Olavo de O. Bittencourt Neto
Catholic University of Santos, Brazil, olavo.bittencourt@usp.br.

Lesley Jane Smith
LL.M., Leuphana University Lueneburg; Weber-Steinhaus & Smith, Cotton Exchange. D-28195 Bremen. ljsmith@barkhof.uni-bremen.de; smith@weber-steinhaus. com.
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