Chapter

The Moon Treaty: Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and other Celestial Bodies within the Solar System other than the Earth

Bin Cheng

in Studies in International Space Law

Published in print December 1997 | ISBN: 9780198257301
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681745 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198257301.003.0012
The Moon Treaty: Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and other Celestial Bodies within the Solar System other than the Earth

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This chapter details the events leading up to the ratification of the 1979 Moon Treaty. The Agreement is perhaps one of the most poorly drafted among the five treaties that have emanated from the United Nations Outer Space Committee, outdoing even the 1968 Astronauts Agreement. First, the extraordinary extension which the treaty has given to the word moon is likely to give rise to a great deal of confusion. Secondly, the various provisions appear to have been assembled together in no particular order. In 1974, the United States did suggest a rearrangement of the articles in order to bring about greater ‘clarity and coherence’, but the proposal fell on deaf ears. However, the Moon Treaty has the high distinction of being the first instrument officially to declare a part of the world to be in law the common heritage of mankind, thus beating at the post by a nose the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which accords the same status to the deep ocean bed and subsoil.

Keywords: international treaties; international law; space law; moon; Moon Treaty; Outer Space Committee

Chapter.  11225 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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