Public International Law

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.

The Television Without Frontiers Directive

The Television Without Frontiers Directive is the cornerstone of the European Union’s audiovisual policy. It rests on two basic principles: the free movement of European television programs within the internal market, and the requirement for TV channels to reserve, whenever possible, more than half of their transmission time for European works.

The European Convention on Transfrontier Television

The European Convention on Transfrontier Television is the first international treaty creating a legal framework for the free circulation of transfrontier television programs in Europe, through minimum common rules, in fields such as programming, advertising, sponsorship and the protection of certain individual rights.

Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations

The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations was adopted by the General Assembly on October 24, 1970, during a commemorative session to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the United Nations.

Public International Space Law

Based on the mentioned basic space law principles, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty provided a legal framework whose enlargement was made possible by subsequent treaty texts. All these provisions form the corpus juris spatialis governing space activities.

The San Remo Manual

The San Remo Manual was prepared at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s by a group of legal and naval experts participating in their personal capacity in a series of Round Tables convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law. The purpose of the San Remo Manual is to provide a contemporary restatement of international law applicable to armed conflicts at sea.

The Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space

Launched in May 2016, the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS) Project aims to develop a widely-accepted manual clarifying the fundamental rules applicable to the military use of outer space in peacetime.

The Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities

In our research on Space Law and resources, it is interesting in this new Space Legal Issues article to have a look at the (failed) Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities.

Article 51 of the UN Charter

Article 51 of the UN Charter provides for the right of countries to engage in self-defence, including collective self-defence, against an armed attack (including cyber-attacks). 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.

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