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and other celestial bodies are not subject to appropriation by claim of sovereignty. noted elsewhere in this section. This principle is related to the nonappropriation principle and is analogous to the right of innocent passage on the high seas. In 1976 eight equatorial countries claimed sovereignty over the geostationary orbital arc above their territory. the outer space activities of its citizens. all nonaggressive military use of space is permitted. There are various views on about the definition and delimitation of air and outer space and it is but obvious that there is a practical and legal necessity to define the legal boundaries between them both. Outer space will be used for peaceful purposes only. that are specifically prohibited. and is ultimately liable for. the Moon. Consequently. Most Western nations. Most other countries. use or occupation.SPACE LAW Air Space of a State is the responsibility of that State alone and other States can get control over it only by means of some treaties. including all major space powers. Outer space is free for use by all countries. A country is responsible for regulating. except for certain activities. . Space law is an area of the law that encompasses national and international law governing activities in outer space. International lawyers worldwide have been unable to see eye to eye on a uniform definition of the term "outer space´. This rule applies regardless of the condition of the objects. or any other means. Outer space. Objects launched into space must be registered with the UN. equate peaceful purposes with nonaggressive ones.A country retains jurisdiction and control over its registered space objects. approximately 100 km (62 mi). Most lawyers agree that outer space generally begins at the lowest altitude above sea level at which objects can orbit the Earth. one of the world¶s greatest Greek philosopher had once remarked saying that ³Man must rise above the earth ± to the top of the atmosphere and beyond-for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives´. Socrates. rejected the claim. including the US.
For some time it was believed that the States exercised unlimited sovereignty over its outer space. the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee.The Outer Space Treaty is the most widely-adopted treaty. International Treaties: Five international treaties have been negotiated and drafted in the COPUOS: 1)Outer Space Treaty. In 1959 the UN created the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). The first UN conference on Outer Space i. Some important provisions of this Treaty are : y Outer Space including the moon and other celestial bodies are free for exploration and can be used by all States without discrimination of any kind. nuclear power resources. the Liability Convention and the Registration Convention all elaborate on provisions of the Outer Space Treaty. 1968 and was attended by 78 states. COPUOS in turn created two subcommittees. definition and delimitation of outer space and arms race in outer space. The inception of the field of space law began with the launch of the world's first artificial satellite by the Soviet Union in October 1957 named Sputnik 1. Since that time. nations began discussing systems to ensure the peaceful use of outer space. with 98 parties. UNISPACE-1 was held in August. The Rescue Agreement. The COPUOS Legal Subcommittee has been a primary forum for discussion and negotiation of international agreements relating to outer space. The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space is the only international forum for the development of international space law. Its inception was in 1967 and is a landmark in this connection. Early Developments: Beginning in 1957. There shall be freedom of scientific investigation to outer space. Bilateral discussions between the United States and USSR in 1958 resulted in the presentation of issues to the UN for debate. . space law has evolved and assumed more importance as humankind has increasingly come to use and rely on space-based resources.e. This committee is concerned with questions such as remote sensing. The satellite was launched as part of the International Geophysical Year. geostationary orbits.
y Each State that launches an object into outer space is internationally liable to damage to another State or to its natural or juridical persons by such an object or its component parts on earth. When astronauts make a landing they will promptly be returned to their State of registry. Article 1 defines damages.The Liability Convention establishes a just mode of compensation in the event of damage being caused by establishing a Claims Commission to settle disputes of claims. the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space ("Rescue Agreement").This is the fourth landmark.It was signed in 1968. which would be jointly liable. Article II provides for absolute liability on the earth for damage caused to flight or aircrafts. y The establishment of military bases. 2) Rescue of Astronauts. It calls for rendering of all possible assistance to astronauts in the event of distress .This ensures that for space activities States are liable for damage caused in space or Earth by space objects. by means of use or occupation or by any other means. installations and fortifications. Article IV provides for damage caused to a third State by two independently launching States. Each launching State has to inform . Article III refers to damage caused by the State launching space object to the space object of another country. the testing of any type weapons and military maneouvres on celestial bodies shall be forbidden. accident or emergency and prompt return of astronauts and space objects to the launching State.y Outer Space including the moon and other celestial bodies is not subject to national appropriation by claim of soveregnity. y Astronauts shall be regarded as envoys of mankind in outer space and every State shall render them all help when necessary in times of distress. The State recievinf information shall take care of the astronaut. 3)The 1972 Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects ("Liability Convention"). The expenses for such work shall be bourne by the launching state. 4) The 1975 Convention on Registration of Objects Launched Into Outer Space (the "Registration Convention").
liability for damage caused by space objects. the freedom of exploration. an analysis of India's treaty law is required to understand how this affects India legally. scientific investigation and the exploitation of natural resources in outer space and the settlement of disputes. The international legal principles in these five treaties provide for non-appropriation of outer space by any one country. the notification and registration of space activities. arms control. the prevention of harmful interference with space activities and the environment. the dissemination and exchange of information through transnational direct television broadcasting via satellites and remote satellite observations of Earth and general standards regulating the safe use of nuclear power sources necessary for the exploration and use of outer space. The five sets of legal principles adopted by the United Nations General Assembly provide for the application of international law and promotion of international cooperation and understanding in space activities. and each includes elements elaborating the common idea of promoting international cooperation in outer space activities.2006 45 states have ratified this convention. On January 1st. India is the only nation that has both signed the Moon Treaty and declared itself interested in going to the moon. .Secretary-General of UN and register the space object by means of an appropriate registry.N. 5)The 1979 Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the "Moon Treaty")-U. India has not ratified the treaty. the safety and rescue of spacecraft and astronauts. The Moon Treaty has only 13 parties. delegates apparently intended that the Moon Treaty serve as a new comprehensive treaty which would supersede or supplement the Outer Space Treaty. most notably by elaborating upon the Outer Space Treaty's provisions regarding resource appropriation and prohibition of territorial sovereignty. Each of the treaties lays great stress on the notion that the domain of outer space. the activities carried out therein and whatever benefits might accrue there from should be devoted to enhancing the well-being of all countries and humankind. and many consider it to be a failed treaty due to its limited acceptance.
installed on celestial bodies. testing. Interfering with national technical means of verification is prohibited. The development.Nuclear Weapons: In addition. In 1958. This provision of the ABM Treaty and. One . the entire treaty (see table 1) have received much public attention in recent years because of progress in the Strategic Defense Initiative. provided such systems are operating in accordance with generally recognized principles of international law and are in fact being used to verify provisions of specific treaties.e. installations. A country may not test any kind of weapon. or fortifications. All committee and subcommittee delegates must agree on treaty language before it can be included in the final version of a treaty. or stationed in space in any other manner. establish military bases. in fact. The use of military personnel for scientific research or other peaceful purposes is permitted. It is quite possible that signatories could renegotiate or even eliminate the treaty before the end of the decade. This prohibition does not apply to research and development of spacebased ABMs preceding field testing. Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (such as chemical and biological weapons) may not be placed into orbit. and Under Water i. and the committees cannot place new items on their agendas unless all member nations agree."Partial Test Ban Treaty" banned the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space. or conduct military maneuvers on celestial bodies. the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere. or deployment of space-based antiballistic missile (ABM) systems or components is prohibited. in Outer Space. the US exploded three small nuclear devices in outer space over the course of two weeks in Project Argus. before this prohibition. Consensus: The COPUOS operates on the basis of consensus. Nuclear weapons tests and other nuclear explosions in outer space are prohibited. Such an experiment would be prohibited today.
in which they asserted their legal claim to control the use of space above their territory. This has led to conflict between different countries wishing access to the same orbital slots (countries at the same longitude but differing latitudes). about 35. Many space faring nations seem to believe that discussing a new space agreement or amendment of the Outer Space Treaty would be futile and time consuming. thus only a limited number of satellites can be placed in geostationary orbit. while still ensuring that commercial activities comply with international law. The challenge is to regulate these activities in a manner that does not hinder or preclude investment.N. National Law: Space law also encompasses national laws and many countries have passed national space legislation in recent years. The developing nations are concerned that the space faring nations will monopolize space resources. and the development of many commercial spaceports. is leading many countries to consider how to regulate private space activities. the COPUOS Legal Subcommittee has been unable to achieve consensus on discussion of a new comprehensive space agreement. and requires parties to ensure that activities are conducted in accordance with other forms of international law such as customary international law . space treaties lack definitions and are unclear in other respects. The advent of commercial space activities beyond the scope of the satellite communications industry. countries located at the Earth's equator created the Bogota Declaration.reason that the U. because entrenched differences regarding resource appropriation. The requirement to space these satellites apart means that there is a limited number of orbital "slots" available. . Geostationary orbits: Satellites in geostationary orbit must all occupy a single ring above the equator. The Outer Space Treaty requires parties to authorize and manage national space activities of non-governmental entities such as commercial and non-profit organizations. property rights and other issues relating to commercial activity make consensus unlikely. and it is also unlikely that the Subcommittee will be able to agree to amend the Outer Space Treaty in the foreseeable future. In recent years. In 1976.800 km into space.Countries located at the Earth's equator have also asserted their legal claim to control the use of space above their territory. is because it is easier to achieve consensus when language and terms are vague. The Outer Space Treaty also incorporates the UN Charter by reference.
is that the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out ³for the benefit and in the interests of all countries . There are a couple of companies who claim that ownership of outer space is just like exploration on Earth. The company selling the land doesn¶t have the rights to it. If you still want to buy land. then it¶s really yours. Of course.. The amount of stuff floating round the Earth increases the risk of collisions. and build a house. If you¶re the first place to find somewhere. Another aspect of this trend is that the geostationary orbit is becoming congested with satellites and other objects.. long in the future. you might find someone setting up a lunar golf course on your acreage. This arguably causes a tension with the commercialization of space. but no country on Earth is going to respect your moon property. then you get to own it. as seen by the sale in 2005 of land on the Moon. multiplying the growing problem of space debris. go ahead« but buyer beware. And if you just say that something¶s yours. A fundamental principle of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. and no other organization on Earth will respect the property right claim. it would be pretty difficult for anyone to stop you. of rockets sent into space hitting something on the way and of debris falling to Earth. They¶ll charge a few dollars to ³own´ a few acres on the Moon. You might get the documentation. under whose criminal law would he be prosecuted? Could anyone stop a company launching into outer space an advertisement that would be visible to large parts of the world? What about our right to privacy from satellites that can focus to within a few metres of the ground? And what nationality would a child born on the Moon have? The treaties such as Outer Space Act 1986 set the context for space law. And some day. If you are going to buy land on the Moon. you¶ve got to understand that this is for entertainment purposes only.Space Law Today : With space tourism and greater commercial exploitation of space on the horizon certain questions today have no answer: If an American astronaut assaulted a Russian in the Japanese section of the International Space Station. with no one to complain to.So adding to debris could be the reason to stop that . and shall be the province of all mankind´. if you were able to fly up to the Moon. and nobody can really stop you. the Magna Carta of spaceflight.
If commercial space transportation becomes widely available. However. a policy that harms the space industry¶s competitiveness. New branches of the discipline will probably develop into astro-law as it applies to outer space and astro-law relating to celestial bodies. High costs are not the only factor preventing the economic exploitation of space: it is argued that space should be considered as a pristine environment worthy of protection and conservation. In that situation. with substantially lower launch costs.company wanting a license to launch a space advertisement ² there appears no obvious ground otherwise. international space law should stem from humanistic philosophies evolved from rules and forums developed here on earth. and limited only by our ability to use them in a manner that is fair and equitable to all nations and which is environmentally ethical. uniquely the UK Government passes on this liability in full to the private sector. asteroids or plots on the Moon will be disappointed.´ replied a Space law expert . Despite the many companies offering to sell such attractive rights. Debate is also focused on whether space should continue to be legally defined as part of the ³common .´ Future of Space Law: This field of law is still in its infancy but it is in an era of rapid change and development. but regardless of its applicability. space law has really been earth law. the Outer Space Treaty is clear that space and celestial bodies cannot be appropriated. and that the legal regime for space should further protect it from being used as a resource for Earth's needs. Debatably the resources of space are infinite. So what are you getting for your money? ³A piece of paper. There is a new theory that companies should pay a fee for using space. ³And perhaps an attractive frame. it seems likely that consensus will be much easier to achieve with respect to commercial development and human settlement of outer space. So far. ³Fees for use of a resource are common terrestrially then shouldn¶t it be for Space also. But others interested in following suit to revive their practices by buying and selling stars. The general legal position under the treaties is that nations are liable for events caused by objects launched from their territory. then all countries will be able to directly reap the benefits of space resources.
´ and therefore unavailable for national claims. ³ through our sense of truth we realize law in creation. and through our sense of beauty we realize harmony in the universe´. Therefore we look to space law and science with a vision of beauty and harmony for the universe. or whether its legal definition should be changed to allow private property in space. To quote Rabindranath Tagore. Conclusion: Space law has brought forth a vision for harmony in universe and unity of knowledge. .heritage of man.
www.org 4. Kapoor.Central Law Agency( 17th edn.com/category/journal-of-space-law/ . International Law and Human Rights . rescommunis..2009) 2.spacefuture.com 5.2010) 3. Space Law in the era of Commercialization.BIBLIOGRAPHY: 1.wordpress. Eastern Book Company( 1st edn.unvienna. www.oosa.. Sandeepa Bhat B.K. Dr S.
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