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  • Some Legal Problems on the Prevention of Proliferation of Weapons in Outer Space

    Paper number



    Prof. Anatoly Y. Kapustin, International Law Institute, Russia



    In the submitted paper the material is stated in the form called to stimulate discussion of this important problem of the prevention the militarization of Outer Space. First of all, the question on is put, whether it is necessary to deal with a problem of non-proliferation of the weapon in space where it while is not present? Whether attracts it to a leaving from such important task as struggle against pollution of space by dangerous Debris. 
    In the paper necessity and timeliness of adopting of effective measures on prevention of the weapon in space is proved. Thus it is marked, that in the basis of the international space law the idea of an anticipation of undesirable and dangerous consequences of outer space activity is incorporated (Arts I, Y, VI, VII, IX, XI, XII of Space Treaty). So if effective measures were taken in due time then the pollution of Outer Space in such degree as now would not take place. 
    In the paper it is paid attention also to the initiative of two leading Space Powers such as Russia and China which 12 of February 2008 have presented at Conference on Disarmament in Geneva of the draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of weapon in outer space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects. The paper contains the detailed analysis of this important document and reaction to it of other States.
    The paper has attracted a special attention on the legality of use of space in the interest of national safety. The question is dealing with the space activity of the States under the control of observance of international disarmament treaties and agreements (space systems of supervision), to the warning of a rocket attack (system of detection of launches of rockets), management of armed forces (system of communication), maintenance of their daily and fighting activity (system of definition of a site, meteorological, geodetic, cartographical maintenance etc.). However it, in opinion of the author, does not mean that military space activity should lead to transformation of a Space into a potential battlefield. 
    With aforesaid the problem of immunity of satellite systems of the States is connected. It means the observance by the States in Outer Space of a principle of International Law prohibiting the Threat or Use of force against Space Objects. 
    The author also pays attention to the problem of realization by the States of their right on self-defense in case of any hostile actions against their Space Objects. 
    For the first time in Russian legal literature the problem of the interrelation of possible armed conflicts on the Earth and in the Outer Space is investigated. This question is very complicated and inadequate in the modern interstates relations taking into account that now some States possess anti-satellites weapons (ASAT Weapons).
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document