The sources of international space law

Ram S. Jakhu, Steven R. Freeland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In order to have a comprehensive understanding of International Space Law, which is embedded in general international law, it is indispensable that one must have a clear view of the sources of this legal system. It is a well-established fact that the sources of general international law are widely considered to be articulated under Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. These are generally relevant for the regulation of outer space, but other ‘non-traditional’ modes of guidance and/or regulation have also been developed in this area. This paper critically examines the provisions of Article 38, in order to discern those traditional and other sources of international law that are applicable to outer space and outer space activities. Particular attention is given to the development of customary international space law, state practice, and the role of ‘judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists’, as well as more broadly to so-called ‘soft law’, for the determination of rules of international space law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013 (IAC 2013)
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-62993-909-4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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