Legal prerequisites of the management of natural resources of the Moon and other celestial bodies

Maciej Nyka


The main aim of the article is to analyse the existing international legal framework of performing mining activities in the outer space. Exploitation and sharing of natural resources of the outer space is an important challenge for international governance systems. The existing acts of law concerning the utilization of space are outdated and some of them have marginal importance due to the law ratification number. The rules for the use and equitable sharing of benefits coming from the exploitation of natural resources in space can be reconstructed from general principles of law referring to the outer space management as well as in some extent from the international agreements. The principle of non-appropriation, as well as the principle of freedom of conducting scientific research of outer space, formulates borders which embrace the commercial activities in space. The imprecise character of legal principles together with the sometimes ambiguous wording of international legal rules leaves space for discussion as to the character of limits and conditions of space mining activities. Two concepts – the common province of mankind and the common heritage of mankind are engaged to describe the current status of celestial bodies and outer space. Under certain conditions, they can also be treated as describing the status of natural resources of the outer space. The normative consequences of using those two concepts are however unclear. First of those concepts – the common province of mankind – is seldomly used and barely cleared in international legal order. Common heritage of mankind is a well known concept and could substitute for more detailed regulation but also requires certain procedural and institutional framework. The article tries to answer questions concerning the limits of non-appropriation principle, and potential conditions under which space mining activities could be performed “for the benefit of mankind”. It also tries to decide if the current system of governance of space, including celestial bodies and natural resources situated on them is sufficient to ensure the promotion of values which stem from principles of international space law. Finally, article tries to predict the prospects of future development of international space law in the field of regulation of natural resources exploitation. By using the analogy from the deep sea mining regime, and basing on the wording of existing sources of international space law, the article indicates areas and directions of probable changes in the international space law.
Author Maciej Nyka (FLA / DPELEPL)
Maciej Nyka,,
- Department of Public Economic Law and Environmental Protection Law
Other language title versionsПравові передумови управління природними ресурсами Місяця та інших небесних тіл
Journal seriesMarketing and Management of Innovations, ISSN 2218-4511, (B 6 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishmoon, management, norms, law, resourses
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)6
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 6.0, 28-01-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0
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