Soft Law: The Key to Security in a Globalized Outer Space

Transportation Law Journal, 2016, Forthcoming

22 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2016 Last revised: 8 Mar 2016

See all articles by Jennifer Urban

Jennifer Urban

University of Mississippi, School of Law, Students

Date Written: January 19, 2016


The globalization of outer space has created new security concerns that were not relevant to the traditional spacefarers. The existing hard laws that pertain to activities and security in outer space were established during the Cold War and no longer provide an adequate legal regime to handle new security concerns. In order for the outer space legal regime to be able to resolve these issues, soft law needs to be used to update the hard law.

This paper will first address the differences between traditional spacefarers and new space actors. North Korea and the United Arab Emirates will be used as examples of both responsible and irresponsible new space actors. Next, it will define and address the need for both hard and soft law. Finally, it will conclude with an explanation of how soft law can be used to update the legal regime of outer space. Soft law is the key to solving the newly arisen security concerns brought about by the globalization of outer space.

Keywords: Space law, outer space, spacefarer, soft law, hard law

JEL Classification: K00, K19, K23, K30, K33, L98, Z00

Suggested Citation

Urban, Jennifer, Soft Law: The Key to Security in a Globalized Outer Space (January 19, 2016). Transportation Law Journal, 2016, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: or

Jennifer Urban (Contact Author)

University of Mississippi, School of Law, Students ( email )

MS 38677
United States

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