MARS4 Metaverse, NFTs, and the Future of Simulated Space Property Rights

Dr. Shouvik Kumar Guha*

Keywords:   Blockchain – Cryptocurrency – Outer space – Property rights

The usage of outer space resources is currently subjected to the restrictions imposed by international instruments like the Outer Space Treaty, 1967[1]. In particular, Article II prohibits national appropriation of the outer space or any celestial body by any means including use and occupation, which ensures that no State can lay claim to property rights to the space or such bodies, nor prevent any other State from using the same. In addition, Article I of the Treaty addresses the exploration and use of the outer space along with right of access, Article VI requires every State to authorize and supervise all activities by its nationals in the outer space and shoulder responsibility for the same, and Articles IX Article XI mandates the States to keep the public, other States, the global scientific community, and the UN Secretary General informed of all their space-related activities, especially the ones that may interfere with peaceful use of space by other States. The application of these provisions towards the development of a property rights framework for the outer space is fraught with debates. Instances of such debates include questions like whether the principle of non-appropriation referred to in the Treaty may translate into restrictions if not outright prohibition of ownership of property rights in space, whether provisions like Article II apply to only space or also the natural resources occurring in it, whether such provisions impose any obligation on the private parties too apart from States, and whether the States themselves being deprived of appropriation power, can in reality validate any property rights claimed by their nationals in space.[2] In addition to the Treaty, the Moon Agreement, 1979[3] and recent initiatives like the Artemis Accords also bear relevance to this evolving discussion on property rights and resource usage in outer space.

Technology seems now all set to add further layers of complexity to this already complicated debate in international law. The case of the MARS4 project serves as a prime example. The blockchain project involves creating a simulated metaverse ecosystem that has been modeled on the planet Mars (data obtained from the 3D Martian Model available in the NASA database).[4] The virtual reality platform will allow the users to experience identical planetary conditions in the metaverse. They will also be able to obtain terrestrial rights over the simulated Martian property and develop, terraform and customize such property at their discretion. Further, the owners of such property can mint exclusive Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs that will draw upon the value of the property owned by them in the metaverse; ownership of such Mars Land NFTs (currently 99888 pieces in existence) will also generate a stream of passive income for them within the metaverse.[5] The income will be in the form of MARS$, the Ethereum cryptocurrency (Standard E) network-based currency that can in turn be used for trading and minting more NFTs within the metaverse; further, as the demand for participation in the project increases, so will the demand for NFTs and by extension, demand for this currency, which can then be traded in exchange for conventional currencies in the real world. These NFTs are therefore meant to serve both as evidence of ownership of virtual land, as well as a means of investment within the MARS4 platform. The currency is already available for purchase on cryptocurrency exchanges like SushiSwap and Bittrex, and the NFTs are going to be available for purchase from January 2022 onward.

The twin tokenomics and token redistribution (MARS$ and Mars Land NFTs) and the principles of gamification (application of elements of game design and game principles of task-based rewards to non-game scenarios including systems, organizations and services) collectively form the distinct characteristics of this entire project.[6] The project also has supposed long-term goals such as to ensure that the NFT-owners via a decentralized autonomous organization will be able to eventually control the decision-making process for the entire virtual platform, and that a foundation is established from the proceeds of the project, which will have the resources to fund space-related startups in the initial stage.

While the NFT boom is currently being perceived all across the global financial market, there are several emerging legal concerns surrounding their use[7], including the lack of accompanying intellectual property rights, the risks involved in the trading of NFTs and fractionalized NFTs that are yet to receive regulatory global recognition as valid securities (registered or otherwise), the possibility of application of anti-money laundering regulations to NFT transactions and resulting lawsuits[8], issues related to privacy and data safeguarding, possibility of reneging on royalty payments by shifting the NFT to different jurisdiction/market via digi-wallets, providing for estate and sequel planning for NFTs based on domestic laws, taxation concerns and many others. All of these regulatory concerns undoubtedly hold pertinence with regard to the MARS4 project too, as do the respective stances adopted by the multiple national regimes about applied blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.

However, this post is meant to consider the status of the project and the property rights being offered by it in the context of the outer space and celestial bodies and related property regime as envisaged under international law. While Mars is a celestial body that should fall within the ambit of the non-appropriation principle[9], the simulated version of the planet in the form of virtual reality is arguably located on Earth itself. Given the oft-vague provisions of the Outer Space Treaty insofar as even traditional property rights in outer space are concerned, and the lack of popular ratification of other relevant existing instruments like the Moon Agreement, the rights to own land in celestial bodies and to use their natural resources are contentious at best at this stage. While the power to access, use, and dispose of resources occurring in space and such bodies is not notionally against the principles that the Outer Space Treaty stands for, it is a matter of fact that the Treaty had never been meant to usher in a stable property rights regime.[10] With technological advancements disrupting even well-established legal regimes across multiple spheres, it is unsurprising that the existing space law regime appears to be considerably unprepared to deal with property rights leveraging space-based resources like the MARS4 project is purporting to do. While the broad acceptance of the Outer Space Treaty principles by State Parties have led to creation of customary law and practices[11], it becomes increasingly clear with developments like this project that predictable property rights in or related to outer space is far in the making at this juncture of international law. However, one must also acknowledge that through persistent efforts, occasional breakthroughs have been possible in the past such as the recognition of the first reasonable user principle in relation to geostationary orbit usage and according protection to such users from subsequent harmful interference via regulations of the International Telecommunications Union.

In addition, the debate as to whether virtual reality based on space objects and resources should at all be governed under the umbrella of outer space law is very much a continuing one. One may even argue that the existence of the MARS4 project does not in any way preclude other private entities establishing identical or similar metaverses about the same or other celestial bodies (assuming they get the necessary licenses to use the relevant celestial data and models) –this would make such property rights and their underlying value at least partially non-exclusive and therefore render their enjoyment non-adverse to concepts such as non-appropriation and the common heritage of mankind. While the days of Robert C. Coles and his Interplanetary Development Corporation, or Dennis Hope and his Lunar Embassy Commission selling land rights on the moon are now long past, those instances clearly taught us valuable lessons about the ambiguity and lack of predictability of the space law regime dealing with individual claims of ownership of the outer space and celestial bodies. One hopes that armed with such lessons, the legal regime applicable to the governance of outer space will proceed to evolve in an organic manner and transform possibly disruptive technological growth as evidenced by the MARS4 project into events enabling such evolution and growth.


* Assistant Professor (Senior Scale), The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences

[1] 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.

[2] Paul Whitfield-Jones, ‘One Small Step for Property Rights in Outer Space?’, available at <; last visited 26 October 2021.

[3] The Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, 1979.

[4] Adria Parcerisas Albés, ‘MARS4: First NFT Revenue Generation in the Universe’, available at <; last visited 26 October 2021.

[5] Id.

[6] Prabhjote Gill, ‘This Ethereum-based metaverse is letting crypto fans own land on the Red Planet, even though international space laws would disagree’, available at <; last visited 26 October 2021.

[7] OpenGeeksLab, ‘9 Legal Issues That Stand Behind NFTs’, available at <; last visited on 26 October 2021.

[8] Mention may be in this instance of the Dapper Labs Complaint in New York, available at <>last visited 26 October 2021.

[9] Thomas E. Hart, ‘Jurisdiction on Mars’, available at <; last visited 26 October 2021.

[10] Kurt Anderson Baca, ‘Property Rights in Outer Space’, Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Volume 58, Issue 4, 1993, pp. 1041-1085.

[11] Alan Wasser, ‘Space Settlements, Property Rights, and International Law: Could a Lunar Settlement Claim the Lunar Real Estate It Needs to Survive?’, Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Volume 73, Issue 1, 2008, pp. 37-73.

Evolving Customary Law in Outer Space Frontier Settlements

Jennifer A. Brobst*

Key Words:  natural law – human nature – frontier settlement– outer space– international customary law

International customary law forms the basis of many international agreements. However, it should be uncontested that there is, as yet, no crystallization of international customary space law. Customary law takes generations to develop through cultural negotiation and the development of practice and custom accepted as law. [1] Laws and practices addressing space exploration and the frontiers of the cosmos are simply too recent. Should the human species survive to enable deep space exploration and frontier settlement beyond Earth, humanity will have an opportunity to develop new customary laws with the added benefit of the accumulated knowledge of human history and modern technology. This diverse human record of invention, achievement and strife was not available to the men and women on the frontiers exploring planet Earth in our previous history of expansion.

While international and national space law currently dominate discussions of what legal and social structures are best for humanity in outer space, such a focus is inherently limited to functional considerations of how to enter orbital space safely. For guidance on human exploration and settlement in the farther reaches of space, what is needed is a more inclusive and informed understanding of human nature. Modern conceptions of natural law, informed by social science research, may be helpful to move beyond the constraints of narrow commercial and governmental interests.

International Law in Orbital Space

In orbital and sub-orbital space, when the technological capacity of space exploration was more limited, the aspirational international agreements to engage in peaceful uses and cooperation in space were easily supported among nations. However, with the growing reality of both governmental and private commercial entry into orbital space, those ideals are undermined by existing suspicions and competition among state and private actors on Earth.

Outer space is jurisdictionally stateless under international law, with multiple resolutions adopted by members of the UN General Assembly to prevent an arms race in outer space:  “Reaffirming the will of all States that the exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall be for peaceful purposes and shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development.” [2]However, “will” is not a mandate, and the General Counsel of the United States Department of Defense has asserted that:

None of [the outer space treaties] has any specific provision that indicates whether the parties intended that the agreement apply in wartime. There appears to be a strong argument that the principle of noninterference established by these agreements is inconsistent with a state of hostilities, at least where the systems concerned are of such high military value that there is a strong military imperative for the adversary to be free to interfere with them, even to the extent of destroying the satellites in the system. [3]

If matters of distrust on Earth have not been resolved between nations, why should such nations agree to different terms in a new space frontier that is equally, if not more, perilous? International law is imbued with concerns related to distrust and the potential for conflict.

An additional criticism of use of international law in space is that such agreements not only reflect the dominant voices of the first nations in space, but that they are predominantly Western and disregard non-Western perspectives and cultural strengths.[4] This is demonstrated by the tacit unwillingness of nations consistently to abide by the principles of treaties, declarations, and resolutions which they may have signed and the lack of clear mechanisms of enforcement. [5] Arguably, international customary law has been a product of a largely Western, colonial, and capitalist interests. A combined functionalist and humanitarian focus in space law would do well to remember this history.

Natural Law Among the Stars

         If the legal structures promoted by international efforts in space appear to be products of capitalist conquest, it is no surprise. Satellite use, mining celestial bodies, space tourism, and achieving scientific and technological advancements in space for use on Earth all appeal to a profit motive, which is not a problem in itself. If humanity seeks to achieve competitive gains, then perhaps this is simply part of human nature. Every large civilization, past or present, Western or not, has engaged in conquest and social disruption throughout human history. Then why do the outer space treaties and national space initiatives repeatedly speak of peaceful uses? The Artemis Accords, for example, seeking international and civil cooperation “for peaceful purposes” in the exploration of the Moon, Mars, Comets, and Asteroids, are currently embraced by 12 countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

  Natural law, granted a Western political and philosophical concept, provides a framework to answer this question. Grotius, the purported father of international law, professed in 1670, a time of conquest and war, that nation states needed to create a set of unifying, universal principles “out of the chaos of lawless and unreasoning strife.” [6] The unifying growth of human civilizations is explained through natural law as humanity’s observance and attempted replication of order and harmony in the universe within human social structures. [7]That is, human nature seeks to create order. Applications of international law to  orbital space law, such as enterprises on the International Space Station or Moon landings, are tethered to an understanding of ourselves on Earth and what enforced order is needed. But would this be the case for human settlement in the frontiers of outer space far beyond Earth? Would international law as we know it effectively guide future human civilizations if it is a product of conquest and cooperation on Earth alone?  This is unlikely given the inscrutable nature of what is to come. The human species itself, however, is not an unknown factor, for it has not biologically evolved other than in minute physical ways for millennia and may retain key aspects of its social nature for many more millennia.

So who are we? Natural law theorists of the past, such as Rousseau and Locke, were all Western men who posited that, as a matter of reason within human nature, our species is inherently interested in survival and therefore will engage in violent self-defense.[8] Concepts of liberty and equality underpinning the nation states of the West were intended to create a utilitarian social compact of peace and cooperation that supported human survival as a society. However, in practice many were subjugated and enslaved to ensure the success of a select segment of society, colonial, male, and affluent, a reality both justified and criticized by international customary law. [9] Despite its apparent manipulation, what the natural law framework continues to provide is a recognition that there may be commonalities in our single human species across cultural, class, racial and gender identities that would potentially connect and unify us.  While current political ideals may never be universal, if seen as imperialist or too narrow, today we have the benefit of modern understandings of psychology, anthropology, and human biology to help us better understand human nature and what makes us thrive together as individuals in society.

How Humans May Thrive in Outer Space

         Both social and evolutionary anthropologists put forth that humanity builds its greatest trust within the family structure, in part because the human species has such a long period of childhood development. [10]However, family structures vary, and strict gender-based roles in society, based on assumed biological differences, have been more likely to emerge when women have had little control over reproduction. Positive law is often unneeded in the day-to-day practices of individuals in family life and small societies, where trust, cultural familiarity, and affection may lead to cooperation and negotiation. For example, even in times of conquest, colonial powers more often left alone matters of family law, which were deemed more inherently stable than matters of commercial law and trade. [11]Therefore, while an interest in survival and self-defense are shared in natural law, arguably so are a duty of care and an appreciation for generosity and affection, a factor often left out by early natural law theorists. Also, an interest in creativity, imagination, and innovation are indelibly human, and would need support to sustain humans in an isolated outer space frontier.

Far into the future, impositions of current international law, largely Earth-based, will have little to say regarding how human settlement should survive as a society. If human settlements in outer space survive, and even thrive, it will not be due to complex, restrictive legal structures, but to the unwritten natural law of human nature which is mutually cooperative and supportive in smaller societies and family-based groups. Indeed, in contrast to much of the natural law philosophy of the past and its lack of mention in international space law, empirical study has shown that healthy emotions derived from close human relationships “appear to be among the most stable, fundamental features of human nature.” [10] As new customary law emerges in outer space settlements, the natural risk of human conflict should be tempered by the human ability to understand itself and what it needs.  As Sun Tzu stated 2,500 years ago, “[t]he art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him,” but in this same work he acknowledged that conflict is meant to sustain peace and that soldiers approaching home will be more likely to leave the ranks early to see their loved ones. [11]


*Associate Professor of Law, Southern Illinois University School of Law, Carbondale. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

[1] H.W.A. Thirlway, International Customary Law and Codification: An Examination of the Continuing Role of Custom in the Present Period of Codification of International Law (AW Sijthoff 1972) 76.

[2] E.g., U.N. General Assembly. A/Res/62/20 (10 Jan. 2008).

[3] United States Dept. of Defense, Office of General Counsel, “Department of Defense Law of War Manual” sec., at p. 915, note 153 (June 2015, updated May 2016).

[4] See Arvind Sharma, Are Human Rights Western? A Contribution to the Dialogue of Civilizations (Oxford University Press 2006).

[5] Theodore Meron, Human Rights and Humanitarian Norms as Customary Law (Clarendon Press 1989) 142.

[6]David J. Hill, ‘Introduction’ in Hugo Grotius (transl. by AC Campbell), The Rights of War and Peace, including the Law of Nature and of Nations (first published as De Jure Belli ac Pacis in 1670, 1901) 1.

[7] Paul E. Sigmund, Natural Law in Political Thought (Winthrop Publishers, Inc. 1971) viii.

[8] Lloyd L. Weinreb, Natural Law and Justice (Harvard U. Press 1987) 78.

[9]E.g., Roper v. Simmons [2005] 543 U.S. 551 (prohibiting juvenile executions); Koowarta v. Bjekle-Petersen & Others [High Ct. Australia 1985] 68 Int’l L. Rep. 181 (prohibiting racial discrimination); The Antelope [1825] 23 U.S. 64 (supporting slave trade as not contrary to the Law of Nations).

[10]Barbara B. Smuts, ‘Social Relationships and Life Histories of Primates’ in Mary Ellen Morbeck, Allison Galloway, and Adrienne L. Zihlman (eds), The Evolving Female, A Life-History Perspective (Princeton University Press 1997) 60, 60.

[11] David C. Buxbaum, ‘Introduction’ in David C. Buxbaum (ed), Family Law and Customary Law in Asia: A Contemporary Legal Perspective (MartinusNijhoff, The Hague 1968) xxxviii.

[12] Sun Tzu, The Art of War (Fall River Press 2015) Ch. VIII(11), at 76.

Arbitration of Space Disputes: A Review of the Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to Outer Space Activities

Arthad Kurlekar*

Key Words: Arbitration – Outer Space – PCA Rules – UNCITRAL Rules

This year marks the ten year anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (“PCA”) Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to Outer Space Activities (the “Rules”). With no publicly reported cases, the Rules are yet to gain popularity among potential users. A recent post, by Rosenberg and Dadwal highlights the conundrum stating that “[t]he PCA has administered disputes relating to outer space, but in those cases, the parties arbitrated their disputes under the 1976 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules rather than the PCA Outer Space Rules”, attributing this to a lack of awarenessof the PCA and its Rules.

The question remains whether the Rules offer anything to incentivise users to deviate from the well-trodden path of selecting the UNCITRAL Rules? To address this, the postevaluates the features of the Rules, whicharearguably designed to better augment the resolution of disputes involving space law specific issues. The Rules have been inspired from the 2010 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules with three majormodifications concerning: (i) the scope of application, specifically adapting the Rules to all users, private parties, states and international organisations; (ii) applicability of the confidentiality regime and (iii) procedure applicate to experts and scientific and technical information.

The Scope of Application

The introductory section to the Rules demonstrates that the PCA foresees the potential users of the Rules to be a combination of States, private actors and international organisations. It thus states that the Rules encompass procedural tools which could be utilized by States, international organisations or private entities in resolving disputes with an outer space element.The flexibility of the rules is in-keeping with the nature and operation of outer-space activities. For example, the launch of satellites of a private state actor, which occurs through a government facility, can involve state and non-state actors, which in case of a dispute would require the flexibility afforded by the Rules. Article 1(1) of the Rules extends the application of the Rules to “a defined legal relationship, whether contractual or not”. Together with the introductory paragraph, this leaves room for States to incorporate the Rules in their bilateral and multilateral treaties, or in statutes extending their application beyond contractual disputes.

To avoid issues of subject-matter jurisdiction, particularly on what constitutes “outer-space law issues”;Article 1(1) provides that the “characterization of the dispute as relating to outer space is not necessary for jurisdiction where parties have agreed to settle a specific dispute under these Rules”. This particular phrasing side-stepping rationemateriaejurisdiction hurdles is also seen in the other subject-indicative rules published by the PCA on relating to the environment and natural resources. Accordingly, the applicability of the Rules is independent of their designation as those concerning “outer space law” issues, with the only requirement being the agreement of the parties. In theory, therefore, nothing stops parties from adopting these rules for any of their disputes so long as all parties to the jurisdictional instrument agree.

Article 1(2) of the Rules, another modification to the UNCITRAL Rules, expressly accounts for the fact that States may have disputes against not just other States but also against private investors capable of settlement by arbitration.Therefore, it provides that the agreement represents a waiver of immunity from jurisdiction. However, it also qualifies this by stating that agreement to the Rules is not an automatic waiver of immunity from execution. The assurance of a waiver of jurisdictional immunity in case of an agreement to arbitrate disputes, together with the need foran express waiver requirement for immunity from execution, reflect prominent viewpoints on the issues. Specifically, it allows for the party entering into the arbitration agreement an assurance that it would be enforced, while simultaneously  also protecting a State’s exercise over its critical assets in case of an adverse outcome. Thisarguably helps balance bothParties’ interests.Thus, the Rules demonstrate that private users, and states (and indeed international organisations) are considered as potential users.

Moreover, the PCA states that the Rules have been designed to “reflect the public international law element that pertains to disputes that may involve states”. This is reflected in the Rules, as an illustration, in Article 9 which provides for the possibility of five arbitrators, a procedural feature arguably typical to inter-state cases.[[1]]


Disputes involving elements of outer space law may have aspects including trade secrets, or issues affecting national security. As a result, Article 17(6)  provides for clearly enunciated procedure to qualify documents as “classified” bolstering the confidentiality protections afforded to the Parties. The Tribunal is empowered to determine whether such information needs special measures of protection from disclosure, failing which it would cause serious harm to either party. If so, then, under Article 17(7) Tribunal has the power to determine the persons to whom the confidential information may be released and on what conditions. The Tribunal also has the power to decide whether a confidentiality adviser has to be appointed. Additionally, under Article 17(8) such a person would ordinarily be allowed access to the documents and then would prepare a report for the Tribunal on the specific issues designated by the Tribunal, without disclosing the confidential information to the Tribunal.These options, which the Tribunal is now expressly empowered to consider, help to address the potentially sensitive nature of disputes foreseen to arise because of the elements of outer space law involved.

Expertsand Scientific Information

As with arbitrations having technical components, the Rules envisage the appointment of a Tribunal-appointed expert (Article 29(1)), should the Tribunal consider necessary to help address the scientific and technical issues that may arise. Such issues can cover a broad range from technical specifications under a contract which would potentially require experts in the relevant sciences, to the determination and forecasting of losses accrued by a party which could potentially require forensic accountants, or a combination thereof.[2] As discussed above, the Tribunal may impose confidentiality requirements upon experts. Therefore, any appointed expert’s purview is subject to any restrictions the Tribunal may impose on the basis of the sensitivity of the information (Article 29(5)). The balance achieved in these provisions is designed considering that some or all of the members of the Tribunal itself may not be leading experts in the relevant field and could be assisted by experts, while recognising the fact that parties may have serious confidentiality concerns with sharing such data with experts.

Apart from experts, the Rules also envisage the possibility for the Tribunal to jointly or separately provide a “non-technical” document summarizing and explaining the background to any scientific, technical or other specialised information the Tribunal considers necessary to understand fully the matters in dispute (Article 27(4)). This could assist the Tribunal in contextualising any expert report and to fully understand the implications in light of the technical nature of outer space disputes.

These prominent modifications to the UNCITRAL Rules bring to fore the question of the suitability of the Rules to disputes relating to outer space issues vis-à-vis provisions of the 2010 UNCITRAL Rules.

The Rules present modest but important clarifications on all three aspects discussed above:

First, with respect to waiver of immunity from jurisdiction, the ILC has confirmed in Article 17 of its Draft Articles on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property 1991, that in its view, entering into an arbitration agreement results in a waiver of immunity from jurisdiction. However, a waiver mentioned as part of the Rules ensures that there is very little likelihood of any parallel proceedings in domestic courts in cases involving States.

Second, in terms of confidentiality, while the 2010 UNCITRAL Rules do not stipulate any specific obligation of confidentiality, Article 34 of the 2010 UNCITRAL Rules states that an award shall only be made public with the consent of all parties. A corollary of this is thatparties have a duty to keep the award confidential, if either party does not consent. The applicable confidentiality regime under the UNCITRAL Rulescan also be enhanced by encompassing confidentiality clauses particularly in the contracts/ instruments referring the matter toarbitration. The existence of confidentiality clauses in such contracts which may involve information protected by rights, with security implications or other sensitive purpose is unsurprising. However, clarifying and bolstering the regime applicable to confidentiality under the Rulesprovides clarity and added value to potential users.

Finally, the clarifications on the powers of the Tribunal to receive a non-technical document, and to appoint an expert, deal with the reality that a tribunal versed in legal matters may not be equally versed with the scientific and technical aspects in dispute, and might warrant (and benefit from) additional submissions either joint or separate to contextualise such information. While in principle, this matter can also be proposed and agreed under the 2010 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, the express reference to this power ensures more liberty in the hands of the Tribunal.These clarifications provide added value to potential users, but whether the Rules gain popularity with increasing activity of private actors in the space industry remains to be seen.

Any opinions or views expressed in the post are original, entirely personal and independent. Any views or opinions expressed do not represent the views of any organisation with which the author is affiliated at present or was affiliated in the past. It is also affirmed that the author has not received any funding from any organisation for the post.



* Associate, Curtis Mallet Prevost Colt Mosle LLP, Geneva, LLM (MIDS), BCL (Oxon), BA.LLB (NUJS)

[1] Article 4 of Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea which provides for a five member tribunal to be constituted)

[2]See e.g.Kishenganga Arbitration (Pakistan v India), PCA Case No. 2011-01