Problems with Enforcing International Space Law on Private Actors

44 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2019

See all articles by Christina Isnardi

Christina Isnardi

Columbia Journal of Transnational Law

Date Written: May 31, 2019


This Note argues that the body of international space law is largely unenforceable on private actors, and the law may be better enforced by (1) creating a single international regulatory and judicial authority that is equipped with the necessary enforcement mechanisms necessary to regulate commercial actors in space and (2) by strengthening domestic space law. This paper will first discuss the background of commercial space activity, international space law, and provisions in space law that relate to private actors and enforcement. Secondly, this paper will address problems with enforcement of international space law on private actors, particularly concerning the ambiguities in the law that allow private actors to avoid enforcement, the lack of enforcement mechanisms within the international space law treaties and within United Nations regulatory agencies, and the inadequacies of the current framework of domestic law in enforcing international space law. Lastly, this paper will delve into potential solutions regarding how to satisfactorily enforce international space law on private actors, including the creation of a World Space Organization that holds the regulatory and judicial authority to regulate all commercial space activity internationally and potential solutions for strengthening domestic space law.

Suggested Citation

Isnardi, Christina, Problems with Enforcing International Space Law on Private Actors (May 31, 2019). Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 58, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: or

Christina Isnardi (Contact Author)

Columbia Journal of Transnational Law ( email )

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