Journal of Air Law and Commerce

ORCID (Links to author’s additional scholarship at ORCID.org)

Steven Freeland: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0287-8509


Increasingly over the past six decades, space exploration and technology have revolutionized the world we live in. The landscape in outer space has continued to evolve rapidly, presenting new challenges for a much slower moving legal framework as well as for peaceful uses of space more generally. In particular, space debris has emerged as a pressing global threat. In response, states have shifted towards a more informal two-pronged approach to outer space, as reflected by non-binding instruments adopted by the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), along with the development of technologies that aim to provide practical solutions to space debris concerns. Taking into account these strategies, this Article first undertakes a review of various complexities facing the existing regulatory framework regarding the environment of space with a focus on dual-use technologies. The Article then demonstrates how Science and Technology Studies (STS) perspectives may offer frameworks and approaches that allow legal scholars to approach highly networked and entangled questions in ways that offer new paths forward while also facilitating technical legal analysis. By doing this, we hope to emphasize that a more multi-disciplinary perspective regarding the complexities and challenges associated with increasing levels of space activities is both warranted and constructive.



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)