The International Law and Policy of Outer Space: A New Perspective on Arms Control
This PhD thesis addresses the arms control provisions of the international law of outer space, specifically the following multilateral outer space treaties: The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies of 1967 (Outer Space Treaty 1967 or OST 67); and The Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies of 1979 (Moon Treaty 1979 or MT 79). Using an interdisciplinary approach to analyse these treaties, an answer is sought to the question, “Why are the key operative arms control terms of OST 67 and MT 79 ambiguous?”. The arms control provisions of these treaties are proverbially ambiguous and operationally unclear. The question as to why these provisions were drafted in this manner has not yet been addressed by the scholarly literature and this thesis aims to fill this gap. Various theoretical frameworks are used within an integrative interdisciplinary framework. These theoretical frameworks are those of International Law, International Relations, and International History. Access to restricted archival material housed at Archives New Zealand in Wellington was granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including files up to 1989. As a corollary to these important findings, this thesis further examines the proposed Treaty on Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and of the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects of 2008 (PPWT 2008) as a potential outer space arms control mechanism. Whilst PPWT 2008 is still in draft form, it was drafted with the intention that it become a multilateral treaty and thus falls within the ambit of this research. As a result of the analysis conducted, this thesis proposes a new perspective on arms control and introduces a use-based definition of space weapon as one means to positively develop the critical issue of arms control in outer space.
Advisor: Smith, Stephen; Nel, Philip
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Faculty of Law
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: outer space; international law; international relations; arms control
Research Type: Thesis