UNCLOS model offers novel solutions to regulation of outer space domain
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The Law of the Sea Convention offers novel solutions to arising issues concerning outer space exploration. Due to its well-thought out provisions, the Law of the Sea Convention has widely been acceptedand is considered international law.147 The Law of the Sea Convention should be adapted to govern the vacuum of outer space. The Law of the Sea Convention separates different territories of the seas in relation to states' baselines.148 States may exercise certain rights within each territory, allowing increased action in proximity to the state, and decreased action with greater distance from the state. This allows states to exercise their police powers, but encourages freedom of transit on the seas. This system should be applied to outer space because it would recognize sovereign claims and rights, yet encourage outer space activities. The Law of the Sea Convention offers practicable solutions in other highly debatable subjects pertaining to outer space exploration, such as military uses of outer space, environmental uses of outer space, jurisdictional issues, and the treatment of vessels and their inhabits. These issues will be discussed in the proceeding sections.
The solutions the international community worked out to resolve some of the most contentious issues over ocean governance -- specifically, how to equitably divide up a common shared resource, how to sustainably manage the global commons for the benefit of all, and how to ensure all states have the freedom to navigate a global common -- have potential to serve as the basis for a similar agreement for outer space.