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Article

The Role of International Territorial Administration in (Semi) Permanent Lunar Presence

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2019
Keywords International Territorial Administration, Governance, International Law, Space Law
Authors Matija Renčelj
AbstractAuthor's information

    The aim of this paper is to analyse examples of ITA as a relevant model in administering celestial bodies. Proposed missions to the Moon promise ambitious plans which will change the way humanity perceives (and administers?) our closest celestial neighbour. Examples of ITA, which first emerged in the 19th and early 20th century are valuable resources for understanding how international organisations can undertake administration of increased presence on celestial bodies. In fact, international organisations already perform such powers (i) either vaguely, e.g. through the OST or (ii) through a clear regulatory mechanism that assigns slots in Geostationary orbit. In order for the regulatory framework to get up to speed with developments in space exploration the solution is two-fold: (i) avoid fragmenting debates on niche-topics (resources, cultural heritage, safety standards) but rather tackle them through a comprehensive framework and (ii) allow the UN (or a body designated by the UN) to actively administer activities on celestial bodies. ITA mechanisms developed in the past 100 years, have proven flexible enough to adapt to multiple scenarios and different political realities. Furthermore they allow international organisations to assume powers of administration without acquiring ownership over the territory and are hence in line with the provisions laid down in the OST. The analysed mechanisms in no way represent a magic solutions to all the alleged shortcomings of the current regulatory environment, it is nevertheless important to establish a nexus between developed examples of ITA and potential future mechanisms administering activities on celestial bodies.


Matija Renčelj
Member States Relationships & Partnerships Office, European Space Agency.

    The three “global commons (GC)” Antarctica, outer space and the high seas/deep seabed, which do not fall under the sovereignty of States (“State-free”), have become a symbol of peaceful cooperation and coordination of the international community. The international treaties which have already been negotiated from the 1950s show an astonishing degree of foresight concerning common public interest. Today, however, each of the three spaces is at risk in at least one of the following areas: peace and arms control, sustainability of use, and just and fair distribution of resources and benefits. This has gone so far that States have begun questioning the concept of nonappropriation. Could this potentially lead to conflicts – even armed conflicts? A new approach to the preservation and fair management of the GC is therefore necessary and requires appropriate political and diplomatic action. This paper intends to tackle the three GC together in order to identify steps for further developing their governance and to investigate, whether joint diplomatic initiatives for the three GC could be more effective than isolated efforts to deal with single hotspots. It will be argued that the future of the GC lies in the establishment of comparable moratoria, thresholds, fees and codes of conduct drawing from best practices in one or more of the three GC.


Kai-Uwe Schrogl
European Space Agency (ESA).

Joanna Langlade
Alumna of the Leiden University Advanced LL.M. in Air and Space Law.

    This article studies five category of malicious cyber activities against space assets in order to assess to what extent the existing international telecommunications law and space law address such activities and identify which rules should be pursued to effectively solve them. Five category of such activities include jamming, hijacking, hacking, spoofing, and robbing the control of telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C) of a satellite (a kind of anti-satellite (ASAT)). Actual incidents are selected for analysis. Those are: (i) jamming: Iranian deliberate harmful interference to the Eutelsat satellites solved in the ITU; (ii) hijacking: a terrorist organization, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) hijacking US Intelsat-12 satellite solved by diplomatic negotiation between the Sri Lankan and US Governments using international telecommunications law developed by the ITU and individual national laws; (iii) hacking: alleged Chinese hacking of US NOAA’s information systems; (iv) spoofing: Iranian spoofing of the GPS signals to guide a US/CIA’s RQ-170 UAV into the Iranian territory; and (v) robbing the control of TT&C: alleged Chinese taking control of US remote sensing satellites including Landsat-7 and Terra AM-1. Concluding remarks include: 1) international telecommunications law developed in the ITU can adequately address harmful interference or hijacking as a result of malicious cyber activity as long as that is conducted by a non-State actor; 2) efforts have started in the ITU to strengthen its fact-finding ability in line with the TCBM measures taken in space activities. This orientation may be remembered as a beginning of the new stage that international space law and international telecommunications law would be merged into one field of law: 3) It remains unclear about the implications of an intangible damage occurred to a satellite when its TT&C is robbed of as a result of malicious cyber activity, while it is clear that such an action constitute the violation of the principles of respect for state sovereignty, national jurisdiction and non-intervention. Thus, for promoting peaceful uses of outer space, the elaboration of relevant Articles of the Outer Space Treaty is urgently needed to formulate clear conditions for national space activities.


Setsuko Aoki
Professor of Law, Keio University Law School, Japan, saoki@ls.keio.ac.jp.

    Since its inception, space law has been governed by principles and rules established by governments and primarily applicable to government activities. Today we are experiencing policy changes to encourage private sector initiatives to carry out government missions and to expand potential profit-making opportunities. The space treaties allow for nongovernmental activities in space but only under the auspices of a nation. Each nation approaches legal solutions in their own way. These variations in national law may create challenges for all space-faring nations. If there are no international agreements, they may create a more fragmented, unpredictable, and unsustainable environment for all participants, both governments and private companies in outer space.
    The fragmentation of international law is defined by the development of sets of rules pertaining to specific subject areas that may claim autonomy from principles of general international law. Those subject areas reflect the larger global issues that include the environment, energy, resource availability, migration, health, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Space law is unique and may be considered one of the fragmented areas of international law. The principles of the now 50-year old treaties have been formally acknowledged by all space-faring nations. New developments may threaten that.
    At issue are many areas of space law including liability, property rights, and environmental harm. Different on-orbit space activities such as satellite servicing, exploiting resources, and removing debris highlight the types of space activities with many similar legal concerns but which may result in different rules in different nations and even for different rules within a nation. New and growing legal tensions among space-faring nations will arise.
    Solutions to this problem are all suboptimal. Neither top-down oversight nor separate bottom-up rules or guidelines will suffice as stable, predictable, and long-lasting regimes that create a favorable legal environment for future public and private space exploration and use.


Henry R. Hertzfeld
Director and Research Professor, Space Policy Institute, George Washington University, Washington, DC; hhertzfeld@law.gwu.edu.
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.

    China’s first space station, Tiangong-1, returned to earth on 1 April 2018 after more than six years in outer space. This was not isolated and some of the previous return of space objects are Cosmos 854 in 1978, Skylab in 1979, Delta II second stage in 1997, MIR Space Station in 2001, Italian BeppoSax in 2003, US-193 in 2008 and ESA’s GOCE in 2013. In light of these events and its inevitably increasing frequencies, it is necessary to reflect on the international law governing the re-entry of space objects.
    In the current international legal framework, the state obligations cover the whole process of re-entry without obvious loopholes, preventative ex ante and responsible ex post. But the state practice is largely uneven and there are controversies and ambiguities over obligations to forewarn hazardous events and disclose information for facilitating damage control and cleanup operation; under what conditions can reentry objects be actively removed; and how to return the objects and compensate the damages. This requires adjustment and fine-tuning of some critical notions in the space treaties and other legal documents, particularly, how to apply victim-oriented and environment-friendly principles in space sector, the balance between launching states’ jurisdiction and control of space objects and the interest of other states, the definition and determination of damages and state responsibility for hazardous activities.


Xiaodan Wu
Law School, China Central University of Finance and Economics.

    International cooperation is the key to the strongest peace in the world, to really constructive relations and the political, economic, cultural and humanistic development among all countries, all peoples and all mankind. There is an “extraordinary danger of the current moment,” the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said on January 25, 2018, when it decided to move the hand of the iconic Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes to midnight. The last time the symbolic Clock was this closing to midnight was in 1953, at the height of the First Cold War. (2) Now, 65 years later, we are in a Second Cold War, which propels a new and millionaire arms race into space, preparing a space war of inestimable consequences. The world community is “seriously concerned” about this concrete possibility, that can result in a limitless global collapse.
    The UN General Assembly Resolution 72-77, of December 7, 2017, makes an appeal “to all States Members, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to preventing an arms race in outer space with a view to promoting and strengthening international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes”. This resolution also “requests the Committee [The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space – UNCOPUOS] to continue to consider, as a matter of priority, ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes.” In its point of view, “the Committee should continue to consider the broader perspective of space security and associated matters that would be instrumental in ensuring the safe and responsible conduct of space activities, including ways to promote international, regional and inter regional cooperation to that end.” (3) As if that were not enough, we are facing an unprecedented climate crisis today. The mainstream media seek to conceal or minimize the fact. But this is part of the problem of the need to maximize international cooperation. Without it, the crisis will continue to spread and threaten the lives of millions of people around the world. In this way, can international space cooperation be carried out effectively “on an equitable and mutually acceptable basis,” as proposed the Declaration on International Cooperation (General Assembly Resolution 51/122, of December 13, 1996)? (4)
    Is it possible to ensure today “an equitable situation” on “a mutually acceptable basis” between developed and developing nations, whose distance increases more and more, mainly in military affairs? The present paper aims to discuss this and other similar issues.


José Monserrat Filho
Brazilian Association of Air and Space Law (SBDA); Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science (SBPC); International Institute of Space Law (IISL).
Article

Transferring Rights of Satellite Imagery and Data: Current Contract Practice and New Challenges

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2018
Keywords geospatial, remote sensing, Incoterms, intellectual property
Authors Jordi Sandalinas Baró
AbstractAuthor's information

    The present work refers to the challenge of understanding the emerging contractual paradigm referred to satellite imagery and data online commerce. Issues like the role of consent in new online contract forms will be analyzed. In this regard, the formation of online contracts requires the existence of consent given by the parties to the contract. The formation of contracts known as “click-wrap”, “browse-wrap” and “shrink-wrap” agreements constitute a new paradigm in the tradition of online commerce related to satellite imagery and data. The author highlights other legal challenges encountered during his research and practice such as the Intellectual Property Paradigm regarding Geospatial imagery and data commercial transactions. Moreover, Value Added Data and the Exhaustion of Rights Principle of the rights deserve also some close attention and must be added to the present study.


Jordi Sandalinas Baró
Attorney at Law, Maritime SDI, Drone and Satellite Law, Lecturer and Course Instructor, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, CEO Image Sea Solutions, Coordinator SpaceLaw.net, email: advocat@sandalinas.com.
Article

Big Data Flow from Space to the EU

Open Access and Open Dissemination Policy vs. the Common European Data Space

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2018
Authors Maria Elena De Maestri
Author's information

Maria Elena De Maestri
University of Genoa.

    In 2017, more than $3.9 billion of private capital was invested in commercial space companies. This represents, in a single year, more than half of the total amount of private investment during the preceding five years. The private space sector has also witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of investor participants. The industry continues to expand, and analysts predict that it will grow to a multi-trillion dollar industry in the next two decades. The industry is also witnessing rapidly falling launch prices – and as launch prices drop, the barrier to enter space also decreases. In addition to facilitating the expansion of existing space-based businesses, such as telecommunications and Earth observation, greater access to outer space opens the door for new entrants into fields such as space manufacturing, mining and tourism.
    Almost half of all investment in space companies since the year 2000, the vast majority of which was made within the last six years, has been from venture capital (“VC”) firms. VC investors seek eventually to monetize their investment by exiting through a sale of the company to a third party (usually an existing space industry player, but sometimes to another financial buyer) or through an initial public offering. Acquisitions by industry competitors are particularly common in the satellite sector, where established incumbents often look for outside innovation (for example, Terra Bella’s acquisition by Planet or DigitalGlobe’s acquisition by MDA). Furthermore, space activities are very costly, but benefit from economies of scale – evidenced by joint ventures between Lockheed and Boeing (United Launch Alliance) and between Airbus and Safran.
    In light of the increasing frequency of mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”) deal making in the space industry, this paper will examine publicly disclosed acquisition agreements governing certain prior deals in the industry in order to draw conclusions about the unique risks faced by commercial space acquirers and how they have sought to mitigate such risks. From diligence considerations to key terms of the acquisition agreements (such as the representations and warranties), this paper will provide practical insight into the most important considerations for private deals in this growing and rapidly changing industry.


Brendan Cohen
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, United States, bcohen@cgsh.com.
Article

Legal Challenges of Space 4.0

The Framework Conditions of Legal Certainty among States, International Organisations and Private Actors in the Changing Landscape of Space Activities

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Space 4.0, NewSpace, ESA, Capacity Building, Cyber Security, Legal Challenges
Authors Gina Petrovici and Antonio Carlo
AbstractAuthor's information

    After more than 60 years of space activities, ongoing scientific and technological progress alongside increased international cooperation, Space 4.0 is entering this field, leaving its hallmark on what appears a new era of space activities. The space community is rapidly changing, and the world continues to face a growing need for dedicated space applications. The growing interest in space leads to an increasing participation of numerous new actors. Governments, private actors and international organisations are eager to fill these gaps in securing the global society’s needs. ESA’s efforts in this regard are reflected in the Space 4.0 concept, introduced at ESA’s Ministerial Council in December 2016 by the ESA Director General. This new conception – building on Industry 4.0 – is designed to host a new era of space activities, setting out to tackle global challenges using the advantages deriving from space and technological progress. These challenges range from climate change to shortage of resources, health, demographic development, digital divide and more. ESA is also highly active within UNISPACE and its objectives: space accessibility, economy, security and diplomacy to contribute to Space 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Capacity building reflects the core objective of all international Space 4.0 efforts. This rapid changes and growth are meeting certain needs by bringing space closer to society and inspiring new generations. However, as these developments are taking place in a highly complex net of legal, regulatory and political considerations, they are themselves raising challenges. This paper focuses on the legal challenges raised by the new era Space 4.0 and outlines the framework conditions for legal certainty in this rapidly changing environment. It elaborates on the content of Space 4.0 and its implementation, the legal framework for space activities, and how this is currently challenged by two characteristics of the Space 4.0 development, commercialisation of space activities, along with increasing cyber-security concerns in the context of digital divide and big data.


Gina Petrovici
Master of Laws (LL.M) University of London.

Antonio Carlo
Sapienza University of Rome.
Article

New Space Activities and Legislation

A General Overview with a Specific Reference to the Ongoing Debate in Italy

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 2017
Authors Marina Gagliardi, Nicoletta Bini, Cristina Marabottini e.a.
Author's information

Marina Gagliardi
Marina Gagliardi, Legal Affairs Unit, Italian Space Agency, Rome, Italy.

Nicoletta Bini
Nicoletta Bini, Legal Affairs Unit, Italian Space Agency, Rome, Italy.

Cristina Marabottini
Cristina Marabottini, Legal Affairs Unit, Italian Space Agency, Rome, Italy.

Gianfranco Gabriele Nucera
Gianfranco Gabriele Nucera, Department of Political Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome.
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

Legal Loophole or Just a Matter of Interpretation?

On the Outer Space Treaty’s Methodology Test with the Diversification of Space Activities

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 1 2017
Authors Merve Erdem
Author's information

Merve Erdem
Department of International Law, Ankara University Faculty of Law, Cemal Gürsel Caddesi No: 58, 06590, Cebeci, Ankara, Turkey, erdemm@ankara.edu.tr

Setsuko Aoki
Keio University, Japan, saoki@ls.keio.ac.jp.
Article

Dealing with the Regulatory Vacuum in LEO

New Insurance Solutions for Small Satellites Constellations

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2016
Authors Neta Palkovitz
Author's information

Neta Palkovitz
ISIS − Innovative Solutions In Space B.V., The Netherlands, n.palkovitz@isispace.nl, Ph.D. Candidate, International Institute of Air and Space Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands, neta.netnet@gmail.com.

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

Access_open The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group

A Progress Report

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 2016
Authors Tanja Masson-Zwaan, René Lefeber, Giuseppe Reibaldi e.a.
Author's information

Tanja Masson-Zwaan
Tanja Masson-Zwaan, 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, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), France, giuseppe.reibaldi@gmail.com.

Merinda Stewart
Merinda Stewart (corresponding author), International Institute of Air & Space Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands, m.e.stewart@law.leidenuniv.nl.

Akiko Watanabe
Independent Researcher, Japan, akiko.watanabe109@gmail.com.
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