Law, College of


Date of this Version



Published in Published in Space Policy (2003) 19: 301-302. Copyright 2003, Elsevier. Used by permission.


Apart from a few minor mistakes or debatable statements— e.g. in the context of the discussion of the legal status of outer space vis à vis the Moon, private appropriation is too easily equated with the “national appropriation” of Article II, Outer Space Treaty, which is prohibited whether “by claim of sovereignty…or by any other means”—the only criticism which might be levelled would apply to Chapter 8 (“Conclusions”). It is a bit disappointing to find that this concluding chapter provides little more than a short and flat description of some of the possible solutions for a future regime for exploitation of the Moon’s natural resources, plus a few general statements which, by the time the reader has advanced to this chapter, have become somewhat of an open door.

Perhaps it is the high level of analysis and evaluation of the many aspects of the issues discussed which has raised the standard of expectation too high, but one would have been very interested in the author’s opinion as to which solution would be preferable, at least from a legal perspective, and why. Even better, one would have liked to see some more pages of detailed elaboration of such a solution. Overall, however, this does little to diminish the value of the book, which at the highest level has also become an interesting case study of the interaction of law and policies in the international domain.