Handbook of Space Law
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Handbook of Space Law

Edited by Frans von der Dunk

Handbook of Space Law addresses the legal and regulatory aspects of activities in outer space and major space applications from a comprehensive and structured perspective. The book fundamentally addresses the dichotomy between the state-oriented character of international space law and the increasing commercialization and privatization of space activities.
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Chapter 3: National space law

Irmgard Marboe


Chapter 3 focuses on space law as it has developed at the national level in a number of states, largely in implementation of the international space treaties and their concepts of state responsibility, state liability and registration. The core aspect of such national legislation from this perspective concerns in particular the handling of private activities in or related to outer space; from this (limited) perspective more than a dozen states have so far indeed drafted national space legislation (the United States, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, South Africa, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Austria and Kazakhstan; in more limited fashion also for example Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and Argentina). These laws notably deal with the licensing of space activities, requirements regarding liability and insurance, registration and jurisdictional issues, and usually apply to private activities conducted from within a state’s jurisdiction. From a broader angle, national law has also dealt with sub-issues such as registration or liability, with attendant issues such as the role of national space and/or licensing agencies, and with specific areas. Examples of the latter concern the use of satellites in the context of national telecommunications legislation or national security aspects of satellite remote sensing. In a number of respects, moreover, such national laws also reflect more nationally oriented legal or policy issues, such as handling liability for damage caused to national citizens or environmental concerns.

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