Edited by Stephen Tully
Chapter 71: UN: Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects, 1972
Commentary: The Liability Convention (961 UNTS 187, entry into force 1972) furthers Article 7 of the Outer Space Treaty (above). Launching States are absolutely liable to pay compensation for damage caused by their space objects on the earth’s surface or to aircraft and become liable where at fault for damage in space. Compensation claims under Article X must ordinarily be presented within one year following the date of damage or identification of the launching State. Under Article XI, the prior exhaustion of local remedies is not required and nothing precludes governments or the natural or juridical persons they represent from pursuing claims before the national courts of launching States. Article XIV envisages a Claims Commission where diplomatic settlements cannot be concluded. Article I For the purposes of this Convention: (a) The term ‘damage’ means loss of life, personal injury or other impairment of health; or loss of or damage to property of States or of persons, natural or juridical, or property of international intergovernmental organizations; The term ‘launching’ includes attempted launching; The term ‘space object’ includes component parts of a space object as well as its launch vehicle and parts thereof. (b) (d) Article II A launching State shall be absolutely liable to pay compensation for damage caused by its space object on the surface of the earth or to aircraft flight. Article III In the event of damage being caused elsewhere than on the surface of the earth to a space object of one launching State or to persons...
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