by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty
Article IX is the longest article in the Outer Space Treaty. It encompasses several principles of international law and space law. This publication, A Chronological Survey of the Development of Art. IX of the Outer Space Treaty, is based on an Article IX analysis provided by Professor Sergio Marchisio of the University La Sapienza of Rome in the Cologne Commentary on Space Law. A chart was created by distinguishing the four main legal elements in Article IX that were identified by him: international cooperation, due regard, harmful contamination, and international consultations.
The information provided in the survey lists in chronological order the summarized statements and declarations that each Nation – State or nongovernmental organization made to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Legal Subcommittee during the drafting years. The legal questions raised in these records of negotiation concerning Article IX began with “principle 6” of the Soviet Proposal for a Declaration of the Basic Principles Governing the Activities of States pertaining to the Exploration and Use of Outer Space in early 1962. This proposed principle evolved into “Principle 6” of the Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space unanimously adopted by the General Assembly in 1963. Further negotiations in the Legal Subcommittee led to early elements of the principle being contained in “Article VIII” of the revised Soviet Draft Treaty Governing the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, The Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, and “Article 10” of the U.S. Draft Treaty Governing the Exploration of the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, submitted in 1966. Eventually these draft articles were consolidated by the Legal Working Group L.9 and adopted, thus establishing Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty.