Public International Law

Towards the taxation of LEO activities?

Taxation of LEO activities seems to be a solution. The appropriate model could be the following one: if a State A wants to launch a satellite or a constellation of satellites, it will have to pay X depending on the orbit (and how already saturated and used the orbit is), the size of the space object or the number of space objects, and finally and why not, depending on its intended purposes (whether scientific, commercial, military…).

The Export Administration Regulations

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are a set of regulations administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security, which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department. In general, the EAR govern what a person may export from the U.S., re-export the item from a foreign country, or transfer an item from one person to another, in a foreign country.

The doctrine of clean hands in Public International Law

“Fraus omnia corrumpit”, a Latin locution, is a founding principle of law, and is the founding of the doctrine of clean hands, also known as the “dirty hand doctrine”. It literally translates into: “The fraud corrupts everything”, meaning that the fraudster shouldn’t draw any benefit from a situation where the law is used for something it forbids.

The conditions for speaking of a State in Public International Law

In Public International Law, the State is defined by three constituent elements: a population, a territory and a governmental organisation. The population within the meaning of Public International Law consists of persons attached to the State by a legal bond: nationality.

Nicaragua v. United States

In the case of Nicaragua v. United States of America, concerning military and paramilitary activities against Nicaragua, the Court had first to make a judgement on its jurisdiction. On November 26, 1984, the United States Government has invoked a number of reasons for trying to escape international justice.

Understanding the Barcelona Traction case

The judgement of 1970 is a fundamental one in the way that it expressed this notion of erga omnes that is now considered as one of the pillar of the international law. The notion of erga omnes is associated with the notion of jus cogens which corresponds to a fundamental principle, considered as universal and superior to which no derogation can be granted.

Lex generalis and lex specialis

In international relations and more specifically in space law, issues of general law and special law, or lex generalis and lex specialis, are recurrent. Lex specialis is a Latin phrase which means “law governing a specific subject matter”. It comes from the legal maxim “lex specialis derogat legi generali”. This doctrine relates to the interpretation of laws. It can apply in both domestic and international law contexts.

The Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity brings together, under the auspices of the United Nations, one hundred and ninety-six countries participating in international negotiations on the preservation of biodiversity. The Convention entered into force on December 29, 1993.

Is naming stars legal?

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, we have asked ourselves the following question: is naming stars legal? There are services which will let you name a star in the sky after a loved one. You can commemorate a special day, or the life of an amazing person. But can you really name a star? Is it legal?

The Guano Islands Act

The Guano Islands Act, a United States federal law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1856, enables citizens of the United States of America to take possession, in the name of the United States of America, of unclaimed islands containing guano (the accumulated excrement of seabirds) deposits.

The difference between space policy and space law

In many conventions, talks and meetings where I have been, people have wandered what’s the difference between space policy and space law. For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, I thought it would be good to quickly discuss the meanings and implications of both space policy and space law. Space policy is more about politics.

Pedis possessio and asteroids

Pedis possessio is a principle of mining law, according to which a qualified person who peaceably, and in good faith, enters a land in the public domain in search of valuable minerals, may hold the place exclusively against others having no better title. In the context of space law and that of the lawfulness of space mining activities, could the principle of pedis possessio interest space lawyers?

Jus Cogens in international law

Jus cogens concerns principles of law considered universal and superior, and which must constitute the bases of the imperative norms of general international law. This concept is similar to, but not totally consistent with, that of customary international law, which presupposes recognition and general effective application. Jus cogens obligations derive from the usual processes creating ordinary customary international law.

Understanding the Charter of the United Nations

The Charter of the United Nations (also known as the UN Charter) of 1945 is the foundational treaty of the United Nations, an intergovernmental organisation. The Charter of the United Nations was signed on June 26, 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on October 24, 1945.

The differences between international and supranational organizations

What are the differences between international and supranational organizations? A supranational organization is an administrative structure that goes beyond the boundaries of states. It differs from international organizations in the fact that within it, decisions are made by institutions specific to the organization, and not by meeting of heads of state or their representatives.

The International Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America).

Opinio juris sive necessitatis

In international law, opinio juris is the subjective element used to judge whether the practice of a state is due to a belief that it is legally obliged to do a particular act. When opinio juris exists and is consistent with nearly all state practice, customary international law emerges. Opinio juris essentially means that states must act in compliance with the norm not merely out of convenience, habit, coincidence, or political expediency, but rather out of a sense of legal obligation.

The Geneva Conventions

The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for humanitarian treatment in war. The singular term Geneva Convention usually denotes the agreements of 1949, negotiated in the aftermath of the Second World War. The Geneva Conventions have been ratified by all States and are universally applicable.

The Lotus principle

The Lotus principle or Lotus approach, usually considered a foundation of Public International Law, says that sovereign states may act in any way they wish so long as they do not contravene an explicit prohibition. The Lotus case concerns a criminal trial. A collision occurred on the high seas between a French vessel and a Turkish vessel. Victims were Turkish nationals and the alleged offender was French. Could Turkey exercise its jurisdiction over this French national under International Law?

The League of Nations

The League of Nations was an international organisation, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, created after the First World War to provide a forum for resolving international disputes. Founded on January 10, 1920 as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War, it was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace.