Volume 40 (2015) / Issue 3
In spite of the fact that international law has proclaimed that outer space is to be used for peaceful purposes, States continue to expand their military capacity beyond the bounds of the Earth's atmosphere. Recent testing of anti-satellite weaponry is a cause for concern that the term 'peaceful uses' is losing its meaning in an increasingly militarized outer space environment. The problem certainly stems from the fact that space law does not explicitly define said uses, thereby allowing States to provide a legal justification for their actions. This article will examine existing space law, as well as general international law, in an attempt to flesh out a more substantial meaning for the most oft-abused provisions of the relevant treaties in three distinct sections: first, we shall explore the notion of 'peaceful uses' as a general term; we shall proceed with an analysis of the prohibition of stationing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in outer space; finally, we shall see how the Liability Convention may be read as limiting States' potential advantages from militarizing space.
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