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Article

Charting a Human Rights Framework for Outer Space Settlements

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 2020
Keywords rule of law, human rights, governance, sustainability, space law
Authors Jonathan Lim
AbstractAuthor's information

    The advancing commercialization and democratization of access to space requires a reconceptualization of the foundational principles and values offered by international human rights law (IHRL) to the specific technical, physiological, and legal challenges of outer space. The notion of human rights seeks to establish and safeguard the dignity and value of every human being – it is inherent, broad, and aims to promote tolerance, equality and respect in reducing conflict across diverse and isolated human communities. Technological advancements have given rise to novel and unanticipated human rights concerns in an era where the development of the law lags behind technology. Human rights offer a multitude of benefits conducive to the advancement of prolonged human habitation and activities in outer space. Determining what novel fundamental human rights are required in the context of space requires and understanding premised upon human dignity, respect, and fairness – as underpinned by their relation to human health, safety, wellbeing, and dignity.


Jonathan Lim
Jonathan Lim, Jus Ad Astra.
Article

Domestic Legislation and Challenges Related to Outer Space Laws in Pakistan

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 5 2020
Keywords lawmaking process, treaty implementation, national space policy, civil space agency, national space regime, Pakistan space program
Authors Shakeel Ahmad
AbstractAuthor's information

    In Pakistan, there exists valuable technical and entrepreneurial capability that could be used to take full advantage of space benefits for national economic development. However, the country has not yet become a full spacefaring nation as compared to some other States. At national level, there is a strong realization to uplift national space program and many initiatives are being taken. However, lack of political will, interest in space related public policies are the main hindrances to formulate national space laws. The existing general national laws of Pakistan are somewhat relevant to outer space exploration and use, however, lack in full and systematic support of new developments as compared to various spacefaring nations. These are the challenges that must be addressed by Pakistan in order to legislate and to revisit its present structure, both legislative and decision-making, for outer space activities. This paper critically analyzes the domestic legislative hurdles and challenges with a view of recommending the adoption of relevant national laws and regulations in order to develop and sustain a full space economy as well as to implement Pakistan’s international obligations, in line with some other States.


Shakeel Ahmad
Shakeel Ahmad, Erin J.C. Arsenault Research Fellow, Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University; email: shakeel.ahmad@mcgill.ca. Author has also served as a focal person for Centre of International Law at NDU, Islamabad, Pakistan.

    Previous work has been undertaken (Green, Neumann, Grey 2018) to consider the development of the Newspace Sector and its impact on space activities in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This previous work noted that although propertisation of space and celestial bodies is prohibited pursuant to the Outer Space Treaty 1967 (UN), orbits within space still remain rivalrous and commercially lucrative. For example, by operating in a LEO environment, a constellation of satellites would prevent other competitors from also operating and providing services within that same orbital plane or orbital shell. A regulatory scheme may be advantageous in mitigating anti-competitive conduct between private enterprises by allowing new entrants to market to gain access to commercially lucrative orbital planes, while ensuring access for government continues for national security and emergency response activities. This paper will consider these issues and explore what a regulatory or licensing scheme would look like for private enterprises operating in LEO and how UNOOSA and the ITU may act as arbiters. This paper will also offer solutions to facilitate a regulatory; or, licensing scheme that prevents anti-competitive conduct.


Thomas Green
Thomas Green, PhD Student, University of Wollongong; tjg171@uowmail.edu.au.

Patrick Neumann
Patrick Neumann, Chief Scientist, Neumann Space Pty Ltd; paddy@neumannspace.com.

Kent Grey
Kent Grey, Partner, Minter Ellison, 25 Grenfell Street, Adelaide 5000 Australia; kent.grey@minterellison.com.

Trevor Sandlin
Trevor Sandlin, Chief Mate AGT, USNS Salvor, United States Merchant Marine; sandlin.trevor@gmail.com.

Thomas Cullum
Thomas Cullum, Engineer, Neumann Space Pty Ltd; tomc@neumannspace.com.

Ilana Pender-Rose
Ilana Pender-Rose; ilanapenderrose@gmail.com.

Robert Mahoney
Robert Mahoney, Founder, Southern Cross Innovations; robert.mahoney24@gmail.com.

    The present paper focuses on analysis of international humanitarian law application to space in the light of IHL status as lex specialis due to circumstances of armed conflict and space law status as lex specialis due to area of application. How “non-aggressive” and “non-military” activities correlate to possibility of use of force and recourse to self-defence in space? Shall international humanitarian law norms prevail over regulations under international space law on use of weapons and establishment of semi- and demilitarized zones? Are attacks on space objects, which have plurality of launching states, legitimate? In which cases targeting dual-use space objects is legal? Following answers to these questions the paper draws attention to theatre of war in space area and destruction of space objects in light of damage caused by space debris to space environment. Issues of combatants from civilians distinction among astronauts and obligations on rendering assistance to them are analysed. Based on the done analysis the paper elaborates on proper modes of actions in the situation of international armed conflict in space from the point of view of both, international space and humanitarian law obligations fulfilment. Possibility of non-international armed conflict in space due to plurality of launching states of space objects is presented. Finally, topics for further research are introduced (obligations of neutral parties in control of private national space activities and compensation of damage, caused by space objects, during armed conflict) and conclusions on future development of space related international humanitarian law norms are formulated.


Darya Bohdan
Darya Bohdan, PhD Student at Department of International Law, Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus. This paper represents the personal opinion of the author and shall not be attributed to any organization with which she is affiliated.
Article

The Continuity of Obligation to Provide the Services of Global Navigation Satellite System

Looking Space Law through the Lens of Human Rights

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 7 2020
Keywords space law, GNSS, discontinuity, right to life, positive obligations, erga omnes obligations
Authors Atefeh Abedinpour and S. Hadi Mahmoudi
AbstractAuthor's information

    Nowadays, dramatic advancement in space technologies has impressed all the aspects of human life. The protection of human life in aviation and maritime has firmly tied to precise data and crucial information derived from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). The present article aims to find a binding solution to ensure the continuity of providing positioning satellite services for aviation and sea navigation for all States. For this purpose, after analyzing the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects and the Charter on the Rights and Obligations of States Relating to the GNSS Services and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, this article seeks to address three crucial questions using the qualitative method. First, what are the harmful effects of malfunction and discontinuity of GNSS services on human life? Second, is there any obligatory provision in Space Law instruments that ensures the continuity of obligation to provide GNSS services? Therefore, from the human rights law perspective, this study tries to recognize the provision of GNSS services as a legal obligation of the provider States and prove that all the provider States should not discontinue these services.


Atefeh Abedinpour
Atefeh Abedinpour, Shahid Beheshti University, LL.M. Graduated in International law.

S. Hadi Mahmoudi
S. Hadi Mahmoudi, Asst. Prof., International Law department, Faculty of Law, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

    Lagrangian Points constitute a stable gravitational point between two or more celestial bodies. Previously used for scientific endeavours, such as the SOHO mission, in the future, Lagrangian Points may also serve to be both commercially and strategically advantageous given the nominal amount of resources required to keep a satellite or similar orbital asset in station-keeping on a Lagrangian Point.
    To that extent, Lagrangian Points may be viewed as having a commercial ‘value ’ because of the competitive advantage afforded to the owner/operator of a spacecraft occupying such a position. This ‘value ’proposition has certain similarities with geostationary orbital positions in Earth orbit.
    Although propertisation of space and celestial bodies is prohibited under the Outer Space Treaty 1967 (UN), orbits within space still remain rivalrous and commercially lucrative (Green, et al. 2018). By operating in a Lagrangian Point, satellites could effectively exclude competing services from also operating within those Lagrangian Points. For example, where one satellite — or a satellite constellation — operates within a Lagrangian Point, another satellite or satellite constellation might be precluded from operating within the same space of that Lagrangian Point, or its proximity.
    This paper builds on previous work regarding the regulation of natural monopolies to mitigate anti-competitive behaviour risks (Green, et al. 2018) and proposes recommendations on how the risk of natural monopolies forming amongst Lagrangian Point missions may be mitigated under a variety of instruments available to both UNOOSA and the ITU.
    In addition to this, this paper considers the military use of Lagrangian Points to mitigate the risk of transforming space into a warfare domain.


Thomas Green
Thomas Green, PhD Student, University of Wollongong.

Patrick Neumann
Patrick Neumann, Chief Scientist, Neumann Space Pty Ltd.

Kent Grey
Kent Grey, Partner, Minter Ellison, 25 Grenfell Street, Adelaide 5000 Australia.

Trevor Sandlin
Trevor Sandlin, Executive Officer, USNS Fall River, United States Merchant Marine.

Nicola Rohner

    The grand project of “Belt and Road” Space Information Corridor proposed by China, which aims to integrate its space-based platforms for comprehensive space applications under the Belt and Road Initiative, resonates with calls and recommendations of the United Nations conferences on the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space for increased international cooperation in space projects to address common challenges. This project is expected to translate the potentials of space technology for socioeconomic development into real benefits for billions of people along the Belt and Road region. The Chinese government has released guidelines in 2016 to identify the general goals and major tasks.
    As we celebrate legacy of the UNISPACE conferences this year, it is beneficial to also focus on the ramifications of large scale space projects for governance of space activities on national, regional and international level. On the one hand, policy and legal aspects are important factors to be taken into account in project planning and implementation. On the other hand, the need to accommodate requirements of space projects could stimulate adjustment or innovation in space policies and regulations. The “B&R” Space Information Corridor offers us a chance to explore such interaction between space project and space governance. Based on analysis of the relevant aspects of legal environment, this paper purports to examine opportunities and challenges confronted with during implementation of the “mega-project” from legal perspectives.


Kang Duan
China Great Wall Industry Corporation.

Irina Chernykh
Department of International Law, RUDN University.
Article

Legal Rights and Possibilities to Access Satellite Data for a Non-Member State of Space Community

Case of Republic of Serbia

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2018
Keywords satellite data, digital divide, space law, EU, Copernicus, Republic of Serbia
Authors Anja Nakarada Pecujlic and Marko Pajovic
AbstractAuthor's information

    In today’s technologically dependent society an average person interacts 36x per day with satellite through diverse applications (e.g. to note just one example - 3/4 of the data used in weather prediction models depend on satellite data). Because of this wide use of satellites, nowadays 80+ countries currently operate at least one satellite in space (latest countries to reach space were Ghana, Mongolia, Bangladesh and Angola). Especially for states that are less economically and technologically developed, space systems are particularly useful and necessary in order to achieve “frog leaping” and decrease the economic and social inequalities between developing and developed states. Involvement in space activities gives them the opportunity to utilize state of the art technology and solve local issues (e.g. environmental, e-health, e-medicine, transportation). Taking a closer look at the satellite data and imagery, it can be observed that the users are mainly public sector clients, such as military institutions for security uses as well as environmental and agricultural authorities. Hence, in the first line it is important to examine which legal framework is governing the access to satellite data and if public sector clients from the developing countries have the same guaranteed rights under international law as the developed nations. This paper will offer in its first part an overview of existing international norms regulating access to satellite data, focusing on relevant provisions in the corpus iuris spatialis. In the second part it will compare these legal rights with the praxis, i.e. determining what are actual possibilities to exercise these rights, if a state is not involved in space activities and has never been a member of space community like in the case of Republic of Serbia. In the third and final part, the paper will zoom in on the EU flagship programs - Copernicus and Galileo - and ESA’s data access policies in regards to states that are neither EU nor ESA member states, but are striving for full European integration, as Serbia.


Anja Nakarada Pecujlic
Institute for Air Law, Space Law and Cyber Law, University of Cologne, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne 50923, Germany (corresponding author), anja.n.pecujlic@outlook.com.

Marko Pajovic
Serbian Case for Space Foundation, Dr. Ivana Ribara 105, Belgrade 11070, Serbia, marko.pajovic@serbiancaseforspace.com.

    The majority of the world still does not have access to the internet, and this “digital divide” is not only an issue in developing countries. Unconnected populations exist in every country, and regulators must find ways to provide universal access to the internet. Furthermore, the demand for connectivity (internet and data) is growing exponentially, and existing terrestrial solutions likely will be insufficient. Regulators must foster new technologies such as the newest non-geostationary satellite constellations, which have almost no delay for two-way voice and data connections and can provide broadband to the most remote and unconnected populations and industries. To ensure the fast deployment of these solutions, regulators should support technology-neutral regulations (such as blanket licensing) that encourage speedy rollout of innovative services, as well as have transparent “open skies” policies that promote competition (which has been proven to boost economies).


Ruth Pritchard-Kelly
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, OneWeb.

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.

Sandra Cabrera Alvarado
PhD Candidate, University of Luxembourg, 4, Rue Alphonse Weicker L-2721 Luxembourg, Luxembourg, sandra.cabrera@uni.lu.
Article

Refugees in Distress

The Protection of Safety Radiocommunication Signals against Harmful Interference

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2017
Authors Simona Spassova and Valentina Nardone
Author's information

Simona Spassova
Dr. Simona Spassova; Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, University of Luxembourg.

Valentina Nardone
Dr. Valentina Nardone; Sapienza University of Rome.
Article

Satellites and Their Humanitarian Applications

Time to Highlight Their Human Aspects?

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2017
Authors Sylvia Ospina and Valentina Nardone
Author's information

Sylvia Ospina
JD, LL.M., S. Ospina & Associates – Consultants, POB 141814, Coral Gables, FL 33114, USA, Email: sospina@bellsouth.net; sospina2@gmail.com.

Valentina Nardone
Dr. Valentina Nardone; Sapienza University of Rome.

Michael S. Dodge
Department of Space Studies, John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, University of North Dakota.

Carlos Gabriel Argüelles Arredondo
Instituto de Estudios Internacionales, Universidad del Mar, Mexico, Facultad de Economía y Relaciones Internacionales, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexico, Email: carlosarguellesarr@hotmail.com.

Elina Morozova
Head of International & Legal Service, Intersputnik International Organization of Space Communications, morozova@intersputnik.com.

Gabriella Catalano Sgrosso
University of Rome, Italy, sgrossogabriella@gmail.com.
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