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Outer Space as a Theatre of War: Legitimate attacks on dual-use satellites?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Space technologies are becoming increasingly indispensible for modern societies and militaries around the globe, through a heightened dependency on satellite based services. At the same time, anti-satellite weapons are being developed and tested with the capacity to attack and destroy a satellite with precision. In the light of this development, the legal uncertainty on what rules apply to belligerent use of force in the realm of outer space is problematic. Since dual-use satellites do not enjoy explicit special protection in international law, it is relevant to clarify what legal protection they do hold, being objects enabling indispensable societal services. Would state practice and hostile space conduct prevail clarification, a fatal international custom might develop, and the difficulty of reaching agreements regulating attacks on satellites, along with other hostile behavior, enhanced. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate what the current frameworks of space law and international humanitarian law provide in terms of restraints to states’ legal possibilities to attack dual-use satellites in times of armed conflict. It is concluded that both frameworks do hold restrictions respectively. Though, the need for regulation is still evident in order to achieve a clear and foreseeable legal reality along with a sustainable future of space exploration where international peace and security can be maintained. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 65
Keywords [en]
space law, humanitarian law, space, satellite, Outer Space Treaty, dual-use objects
National Category
Law
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-352432OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-352432DiVA, id: diva2:1213461
Educational program
Law Programme
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-22 Created: 2018-06-04 Last updated: 2018-07-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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