sexta-feira, 23 de julho de 2004

The Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

Inicio o meu contributo no Blog da Causa, com uma questão que me é particularmente cara: o Espaço, o Direito e a Política Espacial.

No passado dia 20, completaram-se 35 anos que pela primeira vez (conhecida pelo menos!) o ser humano caminhou na superfície lunar!
Foram os americanos, e em particular, Neil Armstrong, a terem a primazia no que toca à alunagem, in personna.

Hoje, mais se seguirá, umas "luzes" sobre:

- os recursos da Lua (e de outros Corpos Celestes);
- a quem pertencem;
- como explorá-los.

Transcrevo um texto do distinto e emérito Presidente do ECSL (European Centre for Space Law), que versa sobre a questão:

"The question of the legal status of the Moon's resources resurfaced (on the Earth), when some years ago a certain Mr. Dennis Hope, after having consulted some lawyers (it's possible to find lawyers to discuss matters about which they are ignorant) decided to set up "the Moon Embassy" and to sell acreage for a very attractive price: a dream in the eyes of grandchildren willing to experiment with their own crossing towards a "new frontier".

Serious as usual, international space lawyers - the new 7th cavalry - launched their assault. But was it too late? Firms have already been developing business proposals such as scattering your ashes on or around the Moon, or offering a fantastic honeymoon in space. Tourists are coming, as usual, following the discovery and colonisation of a new territory. But who should administer your sheriff to avoid a new gunfight at the OK Corral? (Clint Eastwood has already been to the Moon!)

The serious international space lawyers presented their views during the 43rd session of the UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee (29 March to 8 April), co-organized by the International Institute of Space Law and the European Centre for Space Law, under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Jankowitsch (Austria).

The audience listened as Mr. Tennen, an attorney -at-law from Arizona, courageously alleged that the non-apprpriation principle referred to in the Outer Space Treaty is at risk. Prof. A. Kerrest de Rozavel, while comparing the law of the sea and the law of outer space, said there is a problem when the use of the res implies its destruction (but what is a res?).

Prof. S. Hobe presented the Resolution adopted by the 2002 International Law Association, with a different vision than the one of Prof. Kerrest. And, finally, Prof. Lochan, a scientist ISRO explained to the lawyers the "a,b,c's" of the exploration and exploitation of the Moon. Newcomers always have to pay a price higher than others (on Earth too!).

Discussions took place with the participation, among others, of Prof. Gabrynowicz, Mr. Cassapoglou and Prof. Kopal. Prof. Marchisio, Chairman of the Legal Subcommittee, expressed conclusion remarks.

A last worry for 2005: where do we go after the Moon? To its hidden side? To Mars?

On the subject of "private property rights" on the Moon, let me mention the draft statement clearly concludes the prohibition of : national appropriation, the application of any soveireignty and the national legislation on territorial basis. The sellers of such deeds are legally unable to acquire title on their "claims".

I hope that Mr. Hope receives this statement by special "DHL - Moon" and, also, that all governments are reminded that we don't own the Moon or any other celestial bodies. In the future we may have to set up "Texas rangers" in order to implement Earthly laws.

- Dr. G. Lafferanderie

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