Article I of the Outer Space Treaty (OST) encompasses the freedom of exploration and use of outer space. However, if the cycle of the Kessler Syndrome continues, at a certain point travelling to outer space may not be possible anymore. To stop this from happening, management of space debris caused by non-functional satellites is necessary. Even so, treaty law does not offer an obligation for States to manage their space debris. This leaves the question: where does the freedom of exploration and use end, and where does the need to protect the environment begin? By looking at the good faith-principle in combination with the law of the sea, I aim to discover what obligations States may have under the OST with regards to space debris.
Lessons for Practice
Keywords: space debris, law of the sea, freedom of exploration and use, good-faith
Citation: Malgie, A. (2021). Managing A Space Of Waste: A crossroad between the freedom of exploration and use and the law of the sea. Public Note, URS
"I am a master student studying International Laws at Maastricht University. This paper is written as part of the Space of Waste Project. This project is set up in collaboration with Utrecht University as part of my bachelors program. It consists of three parts: my bachelor thesis, the Space of Waste podcast and this paper. Through discussions with a friend, I became interested in space debris. My goal for this project is to spread awareness for space debris through different methods. I believe that this is needed since space debris is seen as a problem for the future, where it is in fact not. By comparing different fields of law, I aim to look at what went wrong in the past, and what we can do right in the future.