International Space Law
The main international forum to discuss space law and policy is the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) with its subcommittees (scientific and technical as well as legal), which each meet annually in Vienna, Austria. UNCOPUOS was established as a permanent body in 1959 and is assisted by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Since 1993, UNOOSA is located in Vienna, Austria.
Besides, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) deals with the allocation of the global radio spectrum and satellite orbits. In addition, the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) are responsible for questions relating to the militarisation of outer space. The ITU and CD are based in Geneva, Switzerland; the UNODA is located in New York, United States.
International space law especially refers to the following five international space treaties, which have been developed between 1967 and 1979 in the framework of UNCOPUOS:
- The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies 1967 ("Outer Space Treaty");
- The Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space 1968 ("Rescue Agreement");
- The Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects 1972 ("Liability Convention");
- The Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space 1975 ("Registration Convention");
- The Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies 1979 ("Moon Agreement").