Rationale for National Space Legislation
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The necessity for legislation emanating from international space treaties is largely threefold: implementation of international obligations, protection of financial interests of the respective State and development of conducive atmosphere for growth of private space activities. This chapter shall argue the fundamental basis of national space legislation. States bear international obligation to ensure all its space activities are in accordance with the international law and space treaties. The activities of non-governmental entities require “authorization and continuing supervision” by the State. A failure to sincerely discharge this duty may make them even internationally liable for damages. There is no way by which a “launching state” can escape from this international liability. This means even if the activities are carried by private enterprise liability is always of the Government. Governmental liability for private activities is a sound reason to legislate. It must not be misconstrued that there is any international legal necessity for national space legislation or by enacting a law State can escape from its international liability. Law can only help to reduce the risk of damage through diligent “authorization and supervision”. Despite due diligence should the Government has to pay for any damage, the law can help the State to seek recourse. Registration of space objects is yet another international obligation where a national space legislation can aid in fulfilling this obligation.