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    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.

    Entities enjoying international legal personality are generally regarded as the “subjects” of general international law and international space law and are considered to possess rights and obligations under international law. While States have historically been recognised as the principal subjects of international law, non-State actors, such as international organisations, non-governmental entities, multinational corporations, and (arguably) individuals, are increasingly empowered with rights and subjected to obligations on the international plane. International space law, although embedded in general international law, contains unique principles and rules that are in some cases different from those of general international law. With the changing nature of activities due to technological developments, and the proliferation of actors in the space domain, it is necessary to critically examine the issues as to what are considered the subjects of international space law. This question is important both from the doctrinal perspective, and as a matter of practical relevance, as space activities are increasingly being undertaken by non-State actors under the jurisdiction and control of, or having a nexus with, several States.


Kuan-Wei Chen
K.W. Chen, Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, McGill University, Canada.

Ram Jakhu
R. Jakhu, Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University, Canada.

Steven Freeland
S. Freeland, Western Sydney University, Australia.

    Among the numerous space activities, satellite communications remain the most widespread, essential, and advanced. To perform a communication function, satellites need to be placed in orbit and use the radio-frequency spectrum. Such limited natural resources, which require rational, equitable, efficient, and economical use in an interference-free environment, are managed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
    Before a new satellite or a satellite network is brought into use, the relevant operator carries out coordination with other operators which utilize satellite networks in the adjacent orbital locations. The results of the coordination procedure are then reflected in coordination agreements. Though coordination may last for years, the difficulty is not so much the conclusion of an agreement as its due performance and enforcement.
    Coordination agreements generally contain mutually acceptable technical parameters for the operation of certain frequencies and their breach may cause harmful interference toward communications satellites. At the request of administrations, the ITU carries out investigations of harmful interference and formulates recommendations. Although such a process has a few drawbacks, complete disregard for the content of coordination agreements makes it totally meaningless.
    If the ITU’s recommendations cannot satisfy the parties or are not duly followed, or if damage was caused by harmful interference and requires compensation, a judicial recourse seems inevitable. As disputes may involve parties around the globe, to which court should they apply? Commonly drafted by technical experts, coordination agreements hardly provide for a dispute resolution mechanism or governing law, while the application of general rules may bring parties to an exotic jurisdiction equally irrelevant to both. Whatever court is chosen, the question of specific knowledge arises. However, the ITU’s practice has always been not to get involved in disputes.
    Therefore, disputes related to coordination agreements pose legal challenges. Where to adjudicate the case and what law to apply are just the tip of the iceberg, while the major question of whether there is a need for a specialized court remains significant. This field of space activities apparently requires legal advice.


Elina Morozova
E. Morozova, Head of International Legal Service, Intersputnik International Organization of Space Communications.

Yaroslav Vasyanin
Y. Vasyanin, Legal Counsel, International Legal Service, Intersputnik International Organization of Space Communications.

Gilles Doucet
Spectrum Space Security Inc.

    As in previous years, this third Progress Report provides an update on the developments of The Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group. It focuses on the results of the last meeting of its first phase, which ended in December 2017 and provides an overview of the expected activities in its second phase from 2018-2019.
    Following a very brief recap of the purpose and functioning of the Working Group, the paper will focus on the major milestone achieved at the end of the first phase, namely the “Draft Building Blocks for the Development of an International Framework on Space Resource Activities”. The Building Blocks were formulated as a basis for negotiations on a future governance system for the use of space resources and were widely made available in order to gather feedback from the international community at large, the results of which will be presented.
    The paper will also report on other progress made during the second phase of the Working Group, such as the establishment of a technical panel and a socio-economic panel and the results of the fifth face-to-face meeting.
    Lastly, the paper provides insight into the prospects for a successful conclusion of the activities of the Working Group and the way forward toward an international framework for the governance of space resources.
    All authors are closely involved with the creation and activities of the Working Group.


Tanja Masson-Zwaan
International Institute of Air & Space Law, Leiden University, the Netherlands, t.l.masson@law.leidenuniv.nl (corresponding author).

René Lefeber
Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands, rene.lefeber@minbuza.nl.

Giuseppe Reibaldi
The Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group, the Netherlands, giuseppe.reibaldi@gmail.com.

Dimitra Stefoudi
International Institute of Air & Space Law, Leiden University, the Netherlands, d.stefoudi@law.leidenuniv.nl.

    In the light of the recently renovated interest in returning humans to the Moon, this paper addresses the main legal challenges related, with the goal to show practical solutions under the current system of international space law.
    In order to do so, the paper first presents an overview of current lunar exploration programs, arguing that public and private missions raise different challenges and thus require specific models.
    Following, it accordingly assesses possible legal solutions for the regulation of these programs. On the one hand, States’ exploration programs may be governed by a revised version of the Intergovernmental Agreement already concluded for the International Space Station. On the other hand, private activities could be better organized relying on Articles VI-IX OST as integrated by a new UNGA Resolution, ad hoc bilateral agreements and specific provisions in national space legislations.
    Finally, the paper concludes underlining the importance of international cooperation as the key to ensure the peaceful use and exploration of outer space.


Antonino Salmeri
Antonino Salmeri is a Doctoral Candidate in Space Law at the University of Luxembourg, where under the supervision of Prof. Mahulena Hofmann he is writing his dissertation on Enforcement Challenges of Space Mining as Multi-Level Regulatory System. Furthermore, Mr. Salmeri holds an Advanced LL.M. in Air & Space Law (cum laude) from the University of Leiden, an LL.M. in Law and Government of the European Union (cum laude) from the LUISS Guido Carli University and a Master Degree in Law (cum laude) from the University of Catania.

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

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.

Robin J. Frank
Associate General Counsel for International Law, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States. Mr. David R. Lopez, Intern, International Law Practice Group, Office of the General Counsel, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and a 2017 J.D. Candidate, University of Houston Law Center (Texas) is the primary author of Section 4 of this paper. In addition, the author thanks Mr. Lopez for his research and editing assistance on other parts of this paper. The author also thanks Benjamin W. Juvelier, Intern, International Law Practice Group, Office of the General Counsel, NASA and a graduate student at American University (Washington, D.C.), JD May 2017; MA in International Service in December 2017 for his research assistance for this paper. In addition, the author thanks her colleagues in NASA’s Office of International and Interagency Relations for their assistance, in particular Ms. Sherry Copeland, Program Specialist, for her outstanding research on NASA agreements discussed in this paper. Finally, the author thanks her colleague Laura Burns, NASA’s Law Librarian for her substantive and extensive research assistance. Any errors in this paper are the author’s errors alone.

Luis Fernando Castillo Argañarás
National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) of Argentina and Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE), Argentina, lcastillo@uade.edu.ar. Special thanks to Daniela Costa, attorney at law and legal translator, for her collaboration in the English version of this paper. dcosta@thelinguacorp.com.

Olavo de O. Bittencourt Neto
Professor Doctor, Catholic University of Santos, olavo.bittencourt@unisantos.br.

Simona Spassova
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Luxembourg

Kai-Uwe Schrogl
Chief Strategy Officer, European Space Agency (ESA)

K.R. Sridhara Murthi
K.R. Sridhara Murthi, Director, IIAEM, Jain University, Jain Global Campus, Jakkasandra post, Kanakapura Taluk

V. Gopalakrishnan
V. Gopalakrishnan, Policy Analyst, ISRO Head Quarters, Antariksh Bhavan, New BEL Road, Bangalore
Article

International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities

Analysis from an Institutional Perspective

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 7 2015
Authors Anastasia Voronina
Author's information

Anastasia Voronina
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, U.S.A.

Mahulena Hofmann
SES Chair in Satellite Communications and Media Law, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Article

Access_open Report of the 57th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space Toronto, Canada, 2014

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 6 2014
Authors Andreas Loukakis, Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty, Anita Rinner e.a.

Andreas Loukakis

Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty

Anita Rinner

Edmond Boullé

Marco Ferrazzani
European Space Agency (ESA).

André Farand
European Space Agency (ESA).
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