International Institute of Air and Space Law
The Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group
The development of space resource activities is happening now. In the absence of a clear framework to govern these activities, there is a need to examine the concepts that are being discussed in order to ensure that they meet existing treaty obligations regarding on-orbit operations and space resource rights. These concepts need to enable, support and co-ordinate the use of space resources and be acceptable for space-faring nations and other interested States.
On 13 September 2017, the Working Group agreed to circulate the draft building blocks for the developments of an international framework on space resource activities as the preliminary result of its work and to invite comments to inform its further consideration of the building blocks. It will continue to explore the need, and form, of any future mechanism(s) for the governance of space resource activities. The Working Group hopes that its activities will complement efforts at the national, regional and global level.
The draft building blocks for the development of an international framework on space resource activities can be found here.
Comments and further input are welcome until the 15th of October 2018 to the following address: email@example.com. To encourage you to submit your feedback we have created this questionnaire.
The first phase of the Working Group was concluded on 31 December 2017 and the final report of this phase can be found below on the webpage. A Call for Membership for the second phase of activities in 2018-2019 was issued in January 2018. The list of members can also be found below.
The most recent face-to-face meeting took place in Leiden from 23 to 24 April 2018.
The Working Group held the 4th face-to-face meeting from 11 to 13 September in Leiden. The meeting concluded the first phase of the Working Group and resulted in the “Draft Building Blocks for the Development of an International Framework on Space Resource Activities”.
The third face-to-face meeting was held from 10 to 12 April 2017 in Gravensteen of Leiden University. It enjoyed attendance from the great majority of Members and Observers. The participants discussed further on the content of the formulated Building Blocks and addressed extensively the issues related to the governance of space resources.
The second face-to-face meeting was held from 7 to 8 November 2016 at the Academy Building of Leiden University, the Netherlands. The discussions were based on the previously formulated Building Blocks. The participants elaborated further on the content of the Building Blocks and focused on the main elements that are required for establishing an international regulatory framework for the governance of space resources.
The first face-to-face meeting of the Working Group was held from 18-19 April 2016, at the Observatory of Leiden University, in the Netherlands. It was attended by a majority of members and a large number of observers. The meeting facilitated an extensive discussion on the proposed Building Blocks of the project, which form the basis for a future governance framework agreement.
The Building Blocks defined after the Meeting in April 2016 and currently under discussion are the following:
- Definition of key terms
- International responsibility for space resource activities and jurisdiction over space products
- Access to space resources
- Utilization of space resources
- Due regard for interest of all countries and humankind
- Avoidance of harmful impacts resulting from space resource activities
- Tehcnical standards for, prior review of, and safety zones around space resource activities
- Monitoring and redressing harmful impacts resulting from space resource activities
- Sharing of benifits arising out of the utilization of space resources
- Registration and sharing of information
- Provision of assistance in case of distress
- Liability in case of damage resulting from space resource activities
- Visits relating to space resource activities
- Institutional arrangements
- Settlement of disputes
- Monitoring and review
What will the Working Group work on?
- Identification and formulation of building blocks for the governance of space resource activities as a basis for negotiations on an international agreement or non-legally binding instrument
- Recommendations on the implementation strategy and forum for negotiations on an international agreement or non-legally binding instrument
During the course of the project, the Working Group will come together for a number of face-to-face meetings.
Who is the Working Group made up of?
The Working Group consists of members as well as observers and it is hosted by a Consortium of organisations from each continent.
The principal Consortium partner is the Institute of Air and Space Law (IIASL), Leiden Law School, Leiden University (the Netherlands) (www.iiasl.aero). The other Consortium partners are: the Catholic University of Santos (UNISANTOS) (Brazil) (www.unisantos.br), the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law (CREEL), University of Melbourne (Australia) (www.law.unimelb.edu.au/creel), the Indonesian Centre for Air and Space Law (CASL), Padjajaran University (Indonesia) (www.casl.nalsar.ac.in/casl), the Secure World Foundation (SWF) (USA) (www.swfound.org), the University of Cape Town (UCT) (South Africa) (www.uct.ac.za), and the Ten to the Ninth Plus Foundation (TTTNPF) (USA).
Members and Observers
The Working Group members are stakeholders of space resource activities and represent consortium partners, industry, States, international organisations, academia and NGOs. The number of members in the Working Group is limited to thirty-five but there is no limit on the number of observers.
Members are major stakeholders from government, industry, universities, civil society and research centres. Members form the operative body of the Working Group. They are responsible for making the decisions and they are the only participants from whom responses are expected. Members are invited to attend all teleconferences and meetings of the Working Group. The number of members to the Working Group is limited to thirty-five.
The observers are professionals directly involved in space resources issues. Observers are invited to attend face-to-face meetings, but not teleconferences. They may speak at face-to-face meetings upon invitation by the chair. The number of observers able to attend meetings may be restricted depending on the capacity of the venue. They have the option of providing input, which is taken into account at the discretion of the members. Observers receive all final documentation distributed within the Working Group. There is no restriction on the overall number of observers to the Working Group, however the number of observers per organisation is limited to one. A formal application via email to the Secretariat is required in order to become an observer.
3) External persons who are only informed of the progress of the Working Group
Persons who are not involved in the Working Group and who are not directly involved in space resources issues, but whose work is closely linked to the subject matter of the project, may be included in the correspondence of the Working Group in order to keep them informed. These persons may provide input to the Working Group on an informal basis, however there is no obligation for the Working Group to take it into account. Persons in this category are not allowed to attend meetings, either face-to-face or otherwise. Inclusion on this list is upon request via email to the Secretariat.
The Working Group, to become a complete platform among stakeholders on the progress of and issues related to the use of space resources, needs to discuss current and future technical issues, besides the legal and policy considerations. Therefore, a technical panel is created composed of universities, space agencies and industrial stakeholders. This panel will provide input to the Working Group allowing it to verify the validity of the building blocks under discussion. The Chair of the panel will be invited to attend the meetings and the preparation of the Working Group.
The objectives of the Technical Panel are to:
- foster dialogue and cooperation between governments, industry, international organizations, academia and civil society on the technical aspects of space resources activities;
- identify technical challenges related to the use of space resources;
- advise the WG about the current status of developments and feasibility on the implementation of the proposed building blocks and propose new, if required;
- act as the technical arm of the WG in international fora.
Where can I find more information?
For further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please find the Final Report of the first phase of the Working Group in 2016-2017 here.
Please find more information about the Symposium, which openend The Working Group and introduced its activities, held on 17 April 2016 on legal-aspects-of-space-resource-utilisation here.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague
- Secure World Foundation (SWF), Broomfield CO
- Catholic University of Santos, São Paulo
- Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law (CREEL), The University of Melbourne
- Indonesian Institute of Air and Space Law, Padjajaran University, Bandung
- International Institute of Air and Space Law (IIASL), Leiden University
- University of Cape Town
- Birkbeck College, London
- Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC), Washington DC
- Deep Space Industries (DSI), Moffett Field CA
- French Space Agency (CNES), Paris
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Paris
- Institute of Space Law, Beijing Institute of Technology
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Geneva
- ispace technologies, Inc., Tokyo
- Mexican Space Agency (AEM), Mexico City
- Ministry of the Economy, Luxembourg
- Moon Express, Cape Canaveral FL
- National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA), Abuja
- Office of the Chief State Law Advisor, Pretoria
- Planetary Resources, Washington DC
- Shackleton Energy Company, Del Valle TX
- UAE Space Agency, Abu Dhabi
- University La Sapienza, Rome