Feb 3, 17 / Pis 06, 01 20:13 UTC
Space law and mining..enforceable? opaque? ¶
So commercial moon mining is becoming a current issue but obviously the Corporations think it is doable or they would not invest. "Will moon mining be BANNED? " Not a chance!! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4187356/Will-moon-mining-BANNED.html
The USA appears to think all they need to do is license and regulate making sure that commercial missions comply with COSPAR and other articles of the Space treaty to meet their obligations under the Treaty.( but what they mine is theirs).Good enough????????
Brian J. Egan Legal Adviser Galloway Symposium on Critical Issues in Space Law Washington, DC December 7, 2016 " The proposed legislation would establish a “Mission Authorization” framework for those non-governmental space activities for which the existing licensing frameworks for launch, communications, and remote sensing are not sufficient for full implementation of our Article VI obligations.
At its most recent meeting, the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee adopted a finding that the absence of a clear mechanism for implementing the United States’ Article VI obligations “has resulted in a lack of stability, predictability, transparency and efficiency, which has and will continue to hinder the development of U.S. commercial space activities.” The Administration’s proposal for a Mission Authorization framework to provide such a mechanism has been generally well received by industry stakeholders as an efficient, narrowly tailored solution that provides the necessary predictability for investments in path-breaking space activities."
Failing that position being accepted Internationally there are a few options
One is to eventually withdraw from the Treaty
"3) These deep puzzles are mostly irrelevant in my example because Article XVI of the Outer Space Treaty does expressly specify that a state party can withdraw by giving notice a year before such withdrawal. One doesn't need the Vienna Convention on Treaties to see that under the plain language of the Outer Space Treaty, that makes withdrawal a ready option."
Another is to use a surrogate country not a party to the Treaty and there's a lot of choice there
Yet another and initially the most likely is negotiating a New Treaty ( over the next few DECADES} that expressely and undisputably allows Commercial expoitation of Space for profit and all major space Nations are likely to sign up to that but unelss it is vastly better for them than what already exists there is no rush as the lack of existing clarity works in their favour!!!
AS usual it's mostly about the Money, Money, Money
from 2002 art "the "Moon Treaty," has also been opened for signature by the United Nations.
However, due to its provisions prohibiting the ownership of natural real estate in space, the treaty was virtually ignored by the world community. Only nine countries have ratified it and just five others have signed it. The cold shoulders it received from the primary spacefaring nations have all but sealed its fate as an irrelevant document in the larger scheme of space development.
Both of these treaties, the Outer Space Treaty and the Moon Treaty, have generated much discussion and speculation regarding the impact they might have on space, especially lunar, development.
The problem with these discussions is that once an organization decides, for whatever reason, to begin extracting, processing and using or selling the lunar regolith, for example, it's very unlikely that either of these treaties will influence that decision." http://www.spacedaily.com/news/oped-02c.html
Space capable Nations will not be restricted by any treaty, they will either find a loop hole, make an image of complying or simply ignore if it does not suit their interests.
Space mining will be the new "Gold Rush" over the next few decades and the first to exploit will get the spoils . The international community will have little influence on commercial activity of the big players but will have a (token?) role is shaping safety and enviromental concerns.
Can we realistically expect more?