Law, College of


Date of this Version



Published by von der Dunk in Proceedings of the Fortieth Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space 449-453 (1997). Copyright 1997, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.


When it comes to join in celebrating the thirtieth birthday of the Outer Space
Treaty, and to take a look at the future of this 'Magna Charta' for outer space and the legal framework built upon it, this is not only a pleasure but a challenge as well. It obviously involves taking a look at present and future developments in the practice of space and space-related activities.

In my view, the most comprehensive development is the increasing involvement of private enterprise. Consequently, we would need to ask ourselves where and how this development relates to, and impacts upon, the present legal framework for outer space activities as provided by the Outer Space Treaty and the remainder of the corpus juris spatiaiis internationalis. Let me try to be modest however. I will not purport to deal with this issue comprehensively here and now, only discuss one element of it which I think is of crucial importance and at the same time very illustrative from the legal point of view.