IAC: Session E.8.2 – The 40th Anniversary of the Rescue Agreement: Looking Ahead/ Weaponisation of Outer Space in the Light of Article 4 of the Outer Space Treaty, part A

October 1, 2008 at 5:25 pm | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

This is part of a series of posts done from the 59th Astronautical Congress and the 51st Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space. The wrap-up has links to all the posts.

Mahulena Hofmann, The Ongoing IAA Study on Protecting the Environment of Celestial Bodies (PECB): The Conceptual Background and Intermediate Results
– Hofmann stated that while space brings benefits to mankind, man leaves traces behind in space. These traces come in the forms of space debris and biological contamination.
– The IAA study addresses these issues. It investigates current frameworks of controlling debris and contamination.
– The next steps are to raise awareness of the issues, facilitate the exchange of information, and, possibly, a code of conduct.

Martin Stanford:
– This presentation covered the latest developments on the negotiation of the UNIDROIT Protocol on Space Assets.
– He summarized the success of the Protocol on Aviation assets.
– He then gave an indepth summary of recent negotiations.

Maria del Carmen Munoz Rodriguez, The Return of Objects Launched in Outer Space: Some Legal Questions:
– This presentation summarized legal aspects of the return of space objects under the Rescue and Return Agreement.

Zeldine Niamh O’Brien, The Rescue Agreement and Private Space Carriers:
– O’Brien analyzed whether the Rescue and Return Agreement’s duties could be extended to private space actors.
– She identified the relevant duties under the treaty as information sharing, Substantive obligations to personnel, and substantive obligations to space objects.
– She applied different rationales for extending these duties including a humanitarian based rationale and a fairness based rationale.
– She also investigated national law concepts for extending the duty such as good Samaritan laws and the duty to render assistance on the high seas under admiralty law.
– She also noted that there would be issues of the financial burden for any such rescue.

Abhyudaya Agarwal, Kaushika Vuppala, Ramanuj Mukherjee, Controlling Ballistic Missile Defense and Anti-satellite Missiles: Should We Look Elsewhere or Rather Amend Art. IV OST?:
– This presentation examined ballistic missiles and the idea of WMDs. It endorsed that since ballistic missiles had te capability of being a WMD they should be controlled under Art. IV of the Outer Space Treaty.

Setsuko Aoki, “Space Traffic Management” for the Prevention of Weaponization of Outer Space:
– Presentation investigated the use of space traffic management systems to help prevent the weaponization of space. It stated that STM coulb be part of a transparency measure.

There were other presentations, but unfortunately I had to leave the panel early and was unable to cover them.

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