Air and Space Law

Introduction

The spectacular fast developments in aircraft technology in the beginning of the 20th century, made law-making necessary in this new field of transportation, in peace and in war. In 1910 the first conference on an international air law code took place in Paris. International air law now deals with many topics, such transport responsibility, safety of passengers, airplanes and luggage, airport-regulations, hijacking, air pollution, and aerial warfare. The collection of international air law in the Peace Palace Library covers all the aspects of this (public and private) international law subject, including the historical part, the sources of international air law, the international organizations involved and the numerous international conventions: Chicago Convention 1944, Warsaw Convention 1929, and the Montreal Convention 1999.

Space law is a relatively new branch of law, roughly starting in 1957 with the launch of the Sputnik I, the first satellite in space. Space law consists of international space law, governing the activities of States and international intergovernmental organizations, and national space law, governing the activities of individual countries and their nationals. Advancing technology and scientific progress extend human activities in space more and more. These developments will require new regulations of business activities, space tourism, traffic rules, the problem of dangerous space debris, rescue missions, contracts for mining expeditions, property rights on celestial bodies and encounters with alien entities.

For example: Who owns the Moon?international-space-station-and-endeavor-docked

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Air and Space Law. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's systematic classification → Public international law and subject headings (keyword) Air Law and Space Law are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

 

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Bibliography

Reference works

Relevant books

Leading articles

Documents

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

New titles

As we are right in the middle of moving to a new library system, it is not yet possible to automatically collect new titles for this Research Guide.

Librarian's choice

  • Lyall, F. and Larsen, P.B., Space Law: a Treatise, Abingdon, Oxon, Routledge, 2018.

    Lyall, F. and Larsen, P.B., Space Law: a Treatise, Abingdon, Oxon, Routledge, 2018.

    Francis Lyall and Paul B. Larsen have been involved in teaching and researching space law for over 50 years. This new edition of their well-received text gathers together their knowledge and experience in readable form, and covers developments in all space applications, including space tourism, telecommunications, the ITU and finance. With an extensive citation of the literature, the discussion provides an excellent source for both students and practitioner.

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  • Froehlich, A., (ed.), A Fresh View on the Outer Space Treaty, Cham, Springer, 2018.

    Froehlich - a fresh view on the outer space treaty

    On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty this book gives a first insight into where the next generation considers room for further improvement of the Outer Space Treaty in order to cope with upcoming aspects such as providing solutions for the emerging commercial, economic, environmental and social questions. At the time of the adoption of the Outer Space Treaty in 1967 the purpose of this treaty was to avoid conflicting military situations in space. However, 50 years later the Outer Space Treaty is in demand to meet the ever increasing space activities and the different actors involved such as the rise of the private sector players.

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  • De Mestral, A., Fitzgerald, P.P.and Ahmad, M.T. (eds.), Sustainable Development, International Aviation and Treaty Implementation, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2018.

    De Mestral, A., Fitzgerald, P.P.and Ahmad, M.T. (eds.), Sustainable Development, International Aviation and Treaty Implementation, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2018.

    In 1944 the Chicago Convention set out the foundations of public international law regulating international air transport, but until 2016 no international agreement existed to limit its environmental impact. Sustainable Development, International Aviation, and Treaty Implementation explains why the CORSIA scheme adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization in 2016, should be implemented in 2020 even though the adequacy of this scheme is still open to doubt and criticism. This book seeks to examine the many dimensions of the effort to contain greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft in a manner consonant with the principles of sustainable development, and examines the development of international law and policy in an area that has remained largely outside the general framework of international environmental law. International civil aviation is a significant polluter of the atmosphere, and in this volume, a group of air law and sustainable development law specialists considers how the international community can respond.

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  • Stubbe, P., State Accountability for Space Debris: a Legal Study of Responsibility for Polluting the Space Environment and Liability for Damage caused by Space Debris, Leiden, Boston, Brill Nijhoff, 2018.

    Stubbe, P., State Accountability for Space Debris: a legal Study of Responsibility for Polluting the Space Environment and Liability for Damage caused by Space Debris, Leiden, Boston, Brill Nijhoff, 2018.

    In State Accountability for Space Debris Peter Stubbe examines the legal consequences of space debris pollution which, he argues, is a global environmental concern. The study finds that the customary ‘no harm’ rule and Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty obligate States to prevent the generation of debris and that the international community as a whole has a legitimate interest in their compliance. A breach of these obligations entails the responsibility of a State and compensation must be provided for damage caused by space debris. The author treats responsibility and liability separately and thoroughly scrutinizes both legal regimes with the help of common analytical elements. Finally, Peter Stubbe argues that a comprehensive traffic management system is required so as to ensure the safe and sustainable use of outer space.

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Database

Blogs

  • Flight MH17 and Legal Remedies

    On 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashed in Donetsk Oblast, Eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board MH17, which was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, died. It claimed the lives of 193 Dutch nationals, 43 from Malaysia, and 27 from Australia. Other victims came from a variety of countries including Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and the Philippines. From the start, both the investigation into the cause of the crash and the criminal investigation into the downing of Flight MH17 were severely challenged due to the ongoing armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists, supported by the Russian Federation, and the Ukrainian government.

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  • Satellite Data in International Law

    The use of data acquired through earth observation satellites has become commonplace. The use of satellite data has even expanded as an extremely useful tool to implement international law since it provides factual, relevant and up-to-date information. Further technological developments will steadily increase the range of data which can be collected through Earth Observation and further enhance its accuracy. Therefore, satellite data can be used to monitor compliance with obligations contained within international agreements or to resolve disputes before an international court.

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  • Aviation Safety: too Tired to Fly?

    Pilot fatigue has long been stated as a concern in the airline industry. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has previously proposed setting limits on the duration that pilots can fly. Fatigue leads to slower reaction times and impaired concentration and decision making.
    18 February 2016, new EASA Flight Time Limitations (FTL) rules (EU Regulation 83/2014) come into effect.
    The aviation industry shifts to a fully harmonised European set of rules aimed at preventing air crew fatigue from constituting a risk to flight safety. Aviation accidents are still extremely rare, but when they have occurred, figures show that 80% are a result of human error, with pilot fatigue accounting for 15-20% of human error in fatal accidents.

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  • Space Mining and (U.S.) Space Law

    On November 25, 2015, President Obama signed into law the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (H.R. 2262). As far as space mining is concerned, this legislation will give US space firms the rights to own and sell natural resources they mine from bodies in space, including asteroids. But does the new law risk privatizing a realm that is meant to belong to all of humanity? Is there a violation of international law? Is an international space exploitation regime preferable?

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  • Happy Retirement Ingrid!

    [On the retirement of our curator Ingrid Kost; blog in Dutch] Vandaag 15 januari 2015 is een memorabele dag voor de bibliotheek van het Vredespaleis. Wij nemen na 39 jaar afscheid van onze collega Ingrid Kost. Zij zal genieten van een welverdiend pensioen. Tijd om andere dingen te gaan doen, zoals oppassen op de kleinkinderen en bijenhouden. Wij zullen haar deerlijk missen als collega en als mens. Alvorens vandaag afscheid te nemen, spraken wij met haar en haalden herinneringen op.

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  • Asteroid(s) coming in at Collision Course

    How to handle an incoming asteroid? What does Don Quijote have to do with it? Movies like “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon” make it seem so easy. But in reality there are many technological, legal and political obstacles to cope with. From 15-19 April, 2013, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) will hold its third Planetary Defence Conference “Gathering for Impact!” in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

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  • The Moon Agreement of 1979: What Relevance to Space Activities ?

    Years of negotiations in the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and vigorous drafting and re-drafting of an international treaty to govern the activities of States on the Moon, culminated in an unanimous acceptance of the Moon Agreement (or Moon Treaty) by the UN General Assembly in 1979. The Agreement applies to the Moon and all other celestial bodies within the solar system other than the Earth, including orbits or other trajectories to or around them. It turns over jurisdiction to the international community.

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See also

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