Space Races: International Law and Politics beyond the Earth

Guest Lecture Series

21 April 2020
Versione stampabile

DUE TO THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY, THE LECTURE WILL BE LIVE STREAMED ONLY

Join Zoom Meeting https://unitn.zoom.us/j/256094451
Meeting ID: 256 094 451
Time: 14.15 - 16:00

Speaker

  • Lorenzo Gradoni - Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law

Abstract
A few states have recently enacted bills granting property rights on resources collected in outer space. It is tempting to read these unprecedented moves as intimations of the space law to come. Space law began to take shape as a branch of public international law in the late 1950s and subsequently struggled to define its identity by analogy with the legal regimes of other remote places like the deep ocean seabed. Epitomized by the adoption in 1979 and subsequent failure of the Moon Agreement, space law’s arrested development left it with an uncertain, coarse-grained legal ontology. Uncertainty surrounds not only the legal status of space resources, or the role of states and international organization in the collection and exploitation thereof, but also the essence and limits of humanity’s jurisdiction to prescribe - its almost unreflective Weltraumnahme - the definition of protocols governing the encounter with other sentient beings, and the conditions of possibility of humanity's proclaimed unity - and, with it, that of public international law - in a hypothetical future marked by space colonization and alien encounters. The lecture aims at bringing these diverse issues under a unified framework of analysis.