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International Environmental Law In The Space Sector

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Chapter Summary

The fundamental problem with the United Nation (UN)-sponsored space law is that it sets out a variety of principles and rules which are expressed in very general terms. Consequently, support for nearly any kind of peaceful activity in outer space can be derived from the UN space treaties. The chapter introduces some of the focal principles of international environmental law and examines their particular applicability to the space sector. The general goal of sustainable development is of highest relevance for all human activities, space activities included. More detailed environmental principles which provide further assistance in pursuing the goal of sustainable development include the principles of sic utere tuo and good neighborliness; due diligence; the precautionary principle; common but differentiated responsibilities; and the polluter-pays principle. Some of these principles illustrate the application of principles of general international law to environmental issues, whereas others are more specific to environmental law.

Keywords:international environmental law; polluter-pays principle; precautionary principle; space sector; sustainable development; United Nation (UN) space treaties



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