The United Nations

Space archaeology: how to protect lunar sites?

As private companies or NASA revive the space race to Mars, the Moon has once again become an important landmark in space exploration. How to protect the first sites of space exploration, when space is supposed to belong to everyone? The trace of the boot left on the lunar floor by Neil Armstrong in July 1969 is still intact, fifty years later.

Declaration on International Cooperation and the Needs of Developing Countries

The 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, adopted in 1996 (General Assembly Resolution 51/122), recognises the needs of developing countries.

Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space

The Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space were adopted by consensus on December 3, 1986. They provide a set of non-binding yet agreed and politically relevant principles to guide the activities of remote sensing by the United Nations member states.

Principles Governing the Use by States of Artificial Earth Satellites for International Direct Television Broadcasting

In order to gain some understanding of the impact of communications institutions on the formation of international law, let’s have a look for this new Space Law article at the Principles Governing the Use by States of Artificial Earth Satellites for International Direct Television Broadcasting.

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 1979 Moon Agreement

The 1979 Moon Agreement reaffirms and elaborates on many of the provisions of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty as applied to the Moon and other celestial bodies, providing that those bodies should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes, that their environments should not be disrupted, that the United Nations should be informed of the location and purpose of any station established on those bodies.

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 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.

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.

Sectoral space regulations

Since the first commercial telecommunications satellites were put into orbit in 1965, there has been a real economic explosion in this sector, with the proliferation of networks, whether at national, regional or global level. International (Intelsat, Inmarsat, Interspoutnik) or regional (Eutelsat, Arabsat) satellite communications organisations have been established to manage these commercial systems.

The United Nations and Space Law

The most obvious forum for developing space law within the operational structures of the United Nations itself is the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, COPUOS. First, however, mention should be made of the Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) formerly at UN Headquarters, New York, and now at Vienna.

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.

Estoppel in Public International Law

In Public International Law, the doctrine of estoppel protects legitimate expectations of States induced by the conduct of another State. The term stems from common and Anglo-American law, without being identical with the different forms found in domestic law. It is supported by the protection of good faith (bona fide) in the traditions of civil law.

The Sources of Public International Law

Public International Law, also known as “Law of Nations”, is the name of a body of rules which regulate the conduct of sovereign states in their relations with one another. Sources of Public International Law include treaties, international customs, general principles of law as recognised by civilized nations, the decisions of national and lower courts, and scholarly writings.

The 1921 Flag Right Declaration

The Declaration recognising the Right to a Flag of States having no Sea-coast is a 1921 multilateral treaty which legally recognised that a landlocked state (a sovereign state entirely enclosed by land, or whose only coastlines lie on closed seas) could be a maritime flag state; that is, that a landlocked state could register ships and sail them on the sea under its own flag.

The 1999 Montreal Convention

The 1999 Montreal Convention (MC99) establishes airline liability in the case of death or injury to passengers, as well as in cases of delay, damage or loss of baggage and cargo. It unifies all of the different international treaty regimes covering airline liability that had developed haphazardly since 1929. MC99 is designed to be a single, universal treaty to govern airline liability around the world.

The UN Programme on Space Applications

The UN Programme on Space Applications (UNPSA), since its creation in 1971, has made substantial progress in furthering knowledge and experience of space applications around the world. Provision of country capacity-building, education, research and development support and technical advisory services by the Programme have all helped to reduce the gap between the industrialised and developing countries.

The International Mobile Satellite Organization

The International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) is the intergovernmental organisation that oversees certain public satellite safety and security communication services provided via the Inmarsat satellites.