UNO Space Laws and Co-operation

Space Law

“Space law can be described as the body of law governing space-related activities. Space law, much like general international law, comprises a variety of international agreements, treaties, conventions, and United Nations General Assembly resolutions as well as rules and regulations of international organizations.

Photo: UN PhotoPhoto: UN PhotoThe term “space law” is most often associated with the rules, principles and standards of international law appearing in the five international treaties and five sets of principles governing outer space which have been developed under the auspices of the United Nations. In addition to these international instruments, many states have national legislation governing space-related activities.

Space law addresses a variety of matters, such as, for example, the preservation of the space and Earth environment, liability for damages caused by space objects, the settlement of disputes, the rescue of astronauts, the sharing of information about potential dangers in outer space, the use of space-related technologies, and international cooperation. A number of fundamental principles guide the conduct of space activities, including the notion of space as the province of all humankind, the freedom of exploration and use of outer space by all states without discrimination, and the principle of non-appropriation of outer space.

The Office provides information and advice, upon request, to governments, non-governmental organizations and the general public on space law in order to promote understanding, acceptance and implementation of the international space law agreements concluded under United Nations auspices”. [United Nations Office for the outer space affairs]

Contents

Part one. United Nations treaties

A. Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies
B. Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space
C. Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects
D. Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space
E. Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies
F. United Nations treaties depositary information

Part two. Principles adopted by the General Assembly

A. Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space
B. Principles Governing the Use by States of Artificial Earth Satellites for International Direct Television Broadcasting
C. Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space
D. Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space
E. Declaration on International Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for the Benefit and in the Interest of All States, Taking into Particular Account the Needs of Developing Countries

Part three. Related resolutions adopted by the General Assembly

A. Resolution 1721 A and B (XVI) of 20 December 1961: International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space
B. Paragraph 4 of resolution 55/122 of 8 December 2000: International
cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space
Some aspects concerning the use of the geostationary orbit
C. Resolution 59/115 of 10 December 2004: Application of the concept of the “launching State”
D. Resolution 62/101 of 17 December 2007: Recommendations on enhancing the practice of States and international intergovernmental organizations in registering space objects
E. Resolution 68/74 of 11 December 2013: Recommendations on national legislation relevant to the peaceful exploration and use of outer space

Part four. Other documents

A. Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
B. Safety Framework for Nuclear Power Source Applications in Outer Space.


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