Questioning the juristic legitimacy of informalism and international soft law is not new. Despite the prevailing skepticism, the hard truth is that States and other actors on the international plane have always involved various methods of supplementing and avoiding legal obligations. The burgeoning ranks of stakeholders on the international level need international regulation to provide a consistent framework on which to base their activities. Where the traditional methods of international treaty-making have proven insufficiently efficient or up-to-date, recourse to informalism and soft law methods has provided the panacea.
This Article looks at the role of informalism and soft law in the contemporary formation of international space law. It first considers the theoretical issues related to informalism, and then looks at the advantages and disadvantages associated with non-treaty agreements. The practical usage of non-treaty agreements in international space law is examined through the developments in the mitigation and remediation of space debris, as well as in the prevention of the weaponization of outer space. Proposals are made with regard to informal non-treaty making, so as to offset the possible disadvantages of informalism.
Gérardine Meishan Goh,
Softly, Softly Catchee Monkey: Informalism and the Quiet Development of International Space Law,
87 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol87/iss3/5