The Sources of International Space Law: Revisited

63 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021

See all articles by Ram S. Jakhu

Ram S. Jakhu

McGill University - Institute of Air and Space Law

Steven Freeland

Western Sydney University, School of Law

David Kuan-Wei Chen

Centre for Research in Air and Space Law

Date Written: March 17, 2021

Abstract

In order to have a comprehensive understanding of international space law, which is embedded in general international law, it is indispensable to have a clear view of the sources of this legal system. It is a well-established fact that the sources of general international law are widely considered to be articulated under Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. These are generally relevant for the regulation of outer space, but other ‘non-traditional’ modes of guidance and/or regulation have also been developed in this area. This article examines the provisions of Article 38 in order to discern those traditional and other sources of international law that are applicable to outer space and outer space activities. For the determination of rules of international space law, particular attention is given to the development of customary international space law, State practice, the role of judicial decisions, the teachings of the “most highly qualified publicists” and, more broadly, to so called “soft law”.

Keywords: space law, sources of international law, public international law, custom, international space law, law, outer space, general international law

Suggested Citation

Jakhu, Ram S. and Freeland, Steven and Chen, David Kuan-Wei, The Sources of International Space Law: Revisited (March 17, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3806175 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3806175

Ram S. Jakhu

McGill University - Institute of Air and Space Law ( email )

3690, Peel Street,
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1W9
Canada

Steven Freeland

Western Sydney University, School of Law ( email )

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith, NSW 2751
Australia

David Kuan-Wei Chen (Contact Author)

Centre for Research in Air and Space Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1W9
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.mcgill.ca/iasl/

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