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Space law is a relatively new branch of law, roughly starting in 1957 with the launch of the Sputnik I, the first satellite in space. Space law consists of international space law, governing the activities of States and international intergovernmental organizations, and national space law, governing the activities of individual countries and their nationals. Advancing technology and scientific progress extend human activities in space more and more. These developments will require new regulations of business activities, space tourism, the problem of dangerous space debris in combination with space traffic management, rescue missions, contracts for space mining expeditions, property rights on celestial bodies and encounters with alien entities.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research in the field of Space Law. It provides the basic materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's subject heading (keywords) Space Law is instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Librarian’s choice
Publication
Froehlich, A. and Seffinga, V. (eds.), The United Nations and Space Security: Conflicting Mandates between UNCOPUOS and the CD, Cham, Springer, 2020.
This book provides a detailed analysis on the history and development of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) and the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and the coordination and cooperation between these two fora.
Publication
Dongar-L'évolution de la finalité des activités spatiales: un défi pour le droit de l'espace
Les principes de liberté d’utilisation de l’espace, de sa non-appropriation, de son utilisation pacifique, la notion de patrimoine commun de l’humanité, démontrent la prise en compte des intérêts de l’humanité qui irradient le droit de l’espace.
Bibliography manually

Sources of international law

Treaties

UN Declarations and Resolutions

The resolutions and decisions of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council may provide valuable information on outer space activities and space law. Although they cannot themselves constitute international law or serve as conclusive evidence of a rule of customary law, such resolutions do have value in providing evidence of existing or emerging law. This point of view has been acknowledged by the International Law Commission.

As every Member State has been recognized and has a vote in the UN General Assembly, finding General Assembly resolutions that passed unanimously or near-unanimously may serve as an excellent starting point in the legal research process. Pay attention to the language of the resolution. Those with firm obligations versus those that are merely aspirational or advisory in nature are more likely to be considered valuable as evidence of customary international law.

→ United Nations General Assembly Resolutions on Outer Space.

 Official Document System Search. ODS is the UN's Official Document System. You can search for UN declarations, resolutions and other documents by keywords, then narrow your search.

 Start Your Research: (7) Resolutions and Decisions of International Organizations.

Reference works

Selected books and articles

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies