Is space lawless?

Space Featured Image 3

NASA has been investigating a crime which has been allegedly committed in space. Astronaut Anne McClain was said to have committed a crime in space by accessing her ex -partners bank account while she was on board the International space station in 2018. This has been the first allegation of crime committed in space.

Is there a space law ?

Having researched space law I have found that the International space station is governed by an international treaty. This means that each country has criminal jurisdiction for its own personnel as long as it does not affect a person from another country.

In this case it was reported that the location of the astronaut (Anne McClain) was not relevant but it was whether she had the rights to access his account or not.

In 1967 the outer space treaty was agreed by 109 nations, this sets guidelines on how space is to be peacefully explored.

This was the first test of space law but I wonder if there will be more in the future as space becomes more popular?

What do you think?

I got my imformation from:

www.dailybreeze.com/2019/10/01/is-there-a-law-covering-outer-space-ask-the-lawyer/

First News Issue 689.30 August - 5 September 2019

Comments (46)

  • Braiswick Primary School spirited_insect | Braiswick Primary School
    05 Nov 2019

    I think this is a good post as you have researched, which I think has probably given you more opinions and have asked a question that I didn't think of which had might of given people a deeper understanding of space.
    I think Anne McClain should not be able to access someone else's account without their permission because it's not theirs and they were using it for a bad reason. I think each country should have their own different laws, I just think they should agree on one so everybody could get used to it wherever they are but I also think it's sensible that they are aware if laws affect a person from another country. And for last I think that there will be more tests for space law as Space becomes more popular unless there are robots which are programmed.

    Thank you for asking an interesting question.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      spirited_insect's comment 05 Nov 2019

      This is a very interesting area to discuss - what tests might space law have to pass in the future?

      Reply to this comment
  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg happy_sparrow | Birchwood C of E Primary School
    06 Nov 2019

    I think that a set of laws will be created as we become closer with space because how is it ok to have to follow rules on Earth but can be as carefree as you wanted in space. NASA would have to create a set of rules to prevent the astronauts from law-breaking in space. I see it as an important thing because I wouldn't want my friend to hack my accounts and get away with it just because he/she got the opportunity to take part in a space mission. It would be NASA's duty to keep the laws the same in space because it could be dangerous! This might sound a bit extreme but what if one astranought was able to murder another astranought in space and not get arrested or fined? It would just be mayhem!
    And that is why I think laws will be created for space!

    Reply to this comment
  • The Sherwood School giving_orangutan | The Sherwood School
    07 Nov 2019

    This is an amazing and insightful post funny_power your research is fabulous which made you be able to go into depth with this topic. Will the United Nations have to discuss the idea of Trump's space forces with the USA? In my opinion I would want the United Nations to discuss this with Trump because the USA is one of the biggest players in space exploration and Trump would want the USA to go to space and discover more things. Most likely Trump wants a military in space which should be monitored by the US space force.

    Reply to this comment
  • Evelyn-Street-logo-250x250.jpg bold_drum | Evelyn Street Primary School
    07 Nov 2019

    I think this is a good post because it tells me a lot about Anne McClain and what she experienced whilst in space Anna McClain 100% should not of accessed someone else's bank account without there permission first of all because it is wrong and She was using it for bad and second of all it is not her's . I think Anne McClain's story is really interesting because she committed CRIME IN SPACE ! ! Weldone this post is amazing keep up the good work !

    Reply to this comment
  • tom Tom @ the BNC
    08 Nov 2019

    In your post you say it was reported that the location was not relevant - but what do we think?

    There's some other interesting questions here, which we would love to hear from you:
    Should there be a set of laws in space? And if so, who should make them?
    If Anne McClain did commit a crime, should she only face trial when she returns to Earth, or could this happen whilst she's still in space?
    What does the future of 'space crime' look like, at the moment?

    Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg emotional_cherry | Noel Park Primary School
    08 Nov 2019

    Tom asks if there should be a set of laws in space and, if so, who should be responsible for making them.

    In my opinion, there should definitely be a set of laws in space. If space is completely lawless, that would mean that crimes could (and probably would) happen on a frequent basis because there would be no consequences. People could commit murder up in space and nobody would do anything about it! This obviously cannot be the case, especially now that space travel and exploration is becoming a more common thing. There needs to be laws in place so that crimes have consequences, just as they do on Earth. This would be the best way to stop crime from occurring.

    However, different countries have different laws in place for different crimes, for example some states in the USA have the death penalty in place for murder whereas other countries are completely against this. So who should make space laws? I learnt about the UN during the BNC issue on Hong Kong and my immediate thought was that they need to take the lead on coming up with a set of laws for space. The UN (The United Nations) is the largest, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organisation in the world. This would, in my opinion, be the best way of bringing countries together and coming up with a set of laws that everyone agrees on.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      emotional_cherry's comment 08 Nov 2019

      What problems can you foresee happening, if we tried to create laws for space?

      Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg brilliant_blackberry | Noel Park Primary School
    08 Nov 2019

    I believe that there should be consequences for Anne McClain whilst she is still in space (if she did, in fact, commit a crime). People can spend many years on the internal space station and, in the future, people may actually live up in space without ever returning to Earth. It has to be possible, therefore, to have arrangement in place to investigate and, if necessary, sentence someone for a crime before they return to Earth. Otherwise, people might go to space either to escape punishment or to commit crimes because they are more likely to get away without a punishment.

    Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg patient_parrot | Noel Park Primary School
    08 Nov 2019

    At the moment, there is an international treaty in place on the ISS (called the IGA). This treaty contains a tiny section on criminal jurisdiction (which basically means the power of courts to hear a criminal case). This section clearly says that every country involved in the ISS has criminal jurisdiction over citizens of its own country in space, as long as they don’t affect anyone from another country. For example Anne McClain is a US citizen which means that US laws apply to any crime she commits on the ISS.

    This becomes more difficult however if a dispute arises in space between two different countries. In that case, the two governments would need to consult and figure out what the consequences would be. The law says that they need to come to an agreement after three months otherwise things get complicated.

    It gets even more complicated if a crime were to be committed on a commercial space station (which is basically like a space hotel). There is actually something called an Outer Space Treaty, a more than 50-year-old agreement between 109 nations that sets up guidelines for how to explore space peacefully. This is very clear that governments are responsible for what their own commercial companies do in space. The document notes that each nation has “jurisdiction and control” over any registered object launched into space, as well as any personnel. That means the US has jurisdiction over anything US tourists do in space, UK has jurisdiction over UK tourists and so on.

    This, again, works until it involves more than one nation, for instance, if someone from the UK gets hurt on a private US space hotel, along with other passengers from France and Italy. What would happen then? Nobody has come up with an answer as of yet. That’s why it’s important to come together and put together a more detailed set of laws and rules for these complicated situations. This is important for when space travel and space tourism become more prevalent.

    https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/27/20833761/nasa-iss-international-space-station-alleged-crime-anne-mcclain-jurisdicition-framework

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      patient_parrot's comment 08 Nov 2019

      You've brought in a lot of evidence here, patient_parrot. Do you think this problem can be solved, and how?

      Reply to this comment
  • Richmond-Hill-logo-250x250.jpg busy_starfish | Richmond Hill Academy
    08 Nov 2019

    In May, Jeff Bezos gave an hour-long presentation on his vision for humanity’s future in space: a series of artificial settlements in orbit that would be home to as many as 1m people each. Mr Bezos was talking in his role as founder of Blue Origin, a privately held rocket-launch firm. But he also referred to the company for which he is better known, Amazon.
    Amazon would never have existed, he said, without pre-existing infrastructure: postal services to deliver packages; home computers to order goods; credit cards to make payments. The job of the current generation would be to build an equivalent “infrastructure” for space. Mr Bezos identified two elements of this: much lower launch costs and the exploitation of resources in space. But he might have mentioned another, more basic requirement for enterprise: a proper legal environment.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      busy_starfish's comment 08 Nov 2019

      Please only write in your own words on the Hub, busy_starfish. We want to hear what you think, not what has been copied from the internet.

      Reply to this comment
  • Richmond-Hill-logo-250x250.jpg busy_starfish | Richmond Hill Academy
    08 Nov 2019

    The link is: https://www.economist.com/international/2019/07/18/space-law-is-inadequate-for-the-boom-in-human-activity-there

    Reply to this comment
  • Richmond-Hill-logo-250x250.jpg outstanding_passionfruit | Richmond Hill Academy
    08 Nov 2019

    Well if Anne MCclain was not given permission to the bank account then she should be punished.But if she was given permission to the the bank account then she should not be arrested but the government should give clear instructions on what is illegal and what is not legal so this stuff or accidents don't happen.

    Reply to this comment
  • St Marys Whitstable logo cheerful_significance | St Mary's Catholic Primary School A
    08 Nov 2019

    there are no laws in space yet but in the future we might find life on other planets. if this does happen we should not be allowed to disturb them unless they give us permission.

    Reply to this comment
  • St Marys Whitstable logo cheerful_significance | St Mary's Catholic Primary School A
    08 Nov 2019

    Adding to my other comment, i think that there will be laws in the future because people want to send people into space for holidays.

    Reply to this comment
  • Richmond-Hill-logo-250x250.jpg stellar_context | Richmond Hill Academy
    08 Nov 2019

    no because when we go to space we have a mission to do such as putting a flag on the moon or discovering something new

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      stellar_context's comment 08 Nov 2019

      Please only write in your own words on the Hub! We do not allow copy and pasting unless you are quoting from somewhere, and including it within what you are saying.

      Reply to this comment
  • St Marys Whitstable logo lovely_construction | St Mary's Catholic Primary School A
    08 Nov 2019

    I agree. I also think that the same laws for earth should apply for space as- in the future- we hope holidays in space.😉

    Reply to this comment
  • St Marys Whitstable logo lovely_construction | St Mary's Catholic Primary School A
    08 Nov 2019

    I meant that i agree that we should have laws in space.

    Reply to this comment
  • Braiswick Primary School succinct_leaves | Braiswick Primary School
    09 Nov 2019

    Definitely space isn't lawless as crimes would be commited all the time without consequence. But, I think to decide what country's laws would be used in court or in your trial it should be the country you were last in before you went to space because that is the country that sent you to space so it should be responsable for your actions in space. However, I think as space travel and exploration becomes more common, which it will, we should come up with a new set of laws called The Space Law. This is because it will be hard for countries who regularly send people into space, such as America, as they will constantly have to deal with crimes commited in space and they have other issues they need to be discussing. As a planet, we should all come up with these laws because no one really "owns" space so we can combine all our countries laws. This means no country can say it is unfair as they will have some of their laws or ideas in their somewhere without a doubt. Along with this, we can also create a sort of space court so they don't have to fly back down to Earth as if there are witnesses they might forget what they saw and the person in question might get lucky and not get what they deserve.

    succinct_leaves

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      succinct_leaves's comment 11 Nov 2019

      This is an interesting idea, succinct_leaves. How would we come up with The Space Law? Do you think it is likely that everyone will agree to it?

      Reply to this comment
  • St Marys Whitstable logo amicable_cello | St Mary's Catholic Primary School B
    09 Nov 2019

    I agree that NASA should make a set of rules that apply to astronauts of anyone who travels to space otherwise people will just go into space and take advantage of having no rules and do many illegal things. In conclusion,I think that there should be rules in space however they shouldn't be exactly the same;they should have some rules for safety that don't apply on earth and they should have some rules that do apply on earth so people don't do things like Anne McClain.

    Reply to this comment
  • St Marys Whitstable logo dedicated_strawberry | St Mary's Catholic Primary School B
    09 Nov 2019

    I agree we definitely should have laws in space as we have laws on earth. If we don't start to have laws and we are trying to send people into space for holidays then you should have the same laws in space as we have in earth.

    Reply to this comment
  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg resilient_mandarin | The Ruth Gorse Academy
    12 Nov 2019

    Is space lawless?
    That is a really thoughtful question.
    Some people believe it is because no one owns space and we haven't discovered any extraterrestrial life outside the Solar System yet, this means that everyone can do what they want in space as they assume they can do anything about it, like littering.

    However, other people do not believe that space is lawless because space has its own extraordinary beauty that almost nothing else can have or possess, space is our own responsibility and we can do something about it to make it special and (for those who believe in aliens) if we wanted to harm a part of space in which there might be extraterrestrial life living near there and somehow they have invented a weapon that can kill or hurt a human being, we might as well be in more danger than ever.

    In my opinion, I have to stick to the side that is against this question , the ones who say that space is not lawless, as space is very expensive and I do not want to spoil it.

    Thank you for this question.

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      resilient_mandarin's comment 12 Nov 2019

      Excellent open-mindedness and reasoning through both sides of the argument. Well done.

      Reply to this comment
  • Ormiston Sudbury Academy industrious_melon | Ormiston Sudbury Academy
    12 Nov 2019

    It's is lawless because it's just the same world but we don't know which continent we are in, the global leaders should come together to make a full on law (I think it should be based on england's law)

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo genuine_cat | Hammond Junior School A
    12 Nov 2019

    I DO THINK SPACE IS LAWLESS AS NO COUNTRY OWNS IT, BUT IF A PERSON DOES SOMETHING WHICH DIRECTLY AFFECTS SOMETHING ON EARTH, FOR EXAMPLE: HACKING INTO A MAJOR COMPANY, THEY ARE LIABLE FOR PUNISHMENT.
    ... BUT THEN WHICH COUNTRY WOULD PUNISH THE ASTRONAUT?

    Reply to this comment
  • Millbank-logo-250x250.jpg amazing_atom | Millbank Academy B
    12 Nov 2019

    I agree because you could basicly do anything in space acording to law

    Reply to this comment
  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg inspiring_penguin | Graveney School
    13 Nov 2019

    I think this is great post because there are no police in space and it doesn't belong to any specific country so no one technically can create rules that need to be obeyed when there. However, I believe that when an astronaut is in space they should go by the laws of their country as then no-one can really do anything completely absurd. On the other hand, many inhabitants of the ISS come from many different countries so it may cause tensions.

    Reply to this comment
  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg beloved_chocolate | Graveney School
    13 Nov 2019

    I think that there should be law in space because although they are not bound by the laws of one country because they are not in that country, if they commit a crime against someone, it is still morally wrong and still harming someone else, so I think that they should still be prosecuted. Therefore, I think that there will be more testing of space law in the future, as more humans go to space, and I would like to see if, in the future, the way they conduct law in space will stay the same, fall through, or change and adapt. How would crime from a person from one country against another be dealt with? Would enforcing of law in space work because it would be hard to bring them back to have a trial due to cost? Could there be a whole new law system in space, where people are tried and prosecuted and punished in space, by a system based not in any country, but there. What would the laws of this system be, and would they include laws specific to space? It will be interesting to see where this venture, and further ventures into space law go, and this is a great post, and really interesting. Thanks for posting this it was fascinating!

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      beloved_chocolate's comment 13 Nov 2019

      Some really interesting questions raised in this comment, beloved_chocolate. Could you try and answer one of them?

      Reply to this comment
  • New-Horizons-logo-250x250.jpg fearless_chicken | New Horizons Children's Academy
    14 Nov 2019

    no there has been a robbery in space someone had stole money by trying to get into their bank account and stole lots of money

    Reply to this comment
  • Hillyfield School logo zestful_editor | Hillyfield Primary Academy
    14 Nov 2019

    In my opinion, if Anne McClain or anyone else committed any crime, in or out of space, she / they should be punished. She did not have permission to access her ex-partner's bank account, therefore, it is a crime and should not be permitted.

    Reply to this comment
  • Hillyfield School logo curious_engine | Hillyfield Primary Academy
    14 Nov 2019

    In my opinion, I would say that space is not fully lawless but I do not think it should have as many as we have here on earth.

    Reply to this comment
  • Hillyfield School logo considerate_construction | Hillyfield Primary Academy
    14 Nov 2019

    Space is lawless;however,a citizen from a developed country must abide by that country's laws.

    Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg brave_grape | Noel Park Primary School
    14 Nov 2019

    Is space lawless?
    Space shouldn't be lawless because anything could happen there literally anything! Can you believe that theres already been a crime on space .

    On August 23 2019 ,The New York Times reported that Worden has filed a complaint against McClain, through the Federal Trade Commission accusing her of illegally accessing financal imformation while residing in the International Space Station. This is why we should have laws in space.

    Reply to this comment
  • Portobello-logo-250x250.jpg talented_clementine | Portobello High School
    15 Nov 2019

    It seems very hard to punish someone on the law system of a country when they are in space, however I think that whichever country has control of the international space station should the ones punishing the criminal on the basis of their law system.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      talented_clementine's comment 15 Nov 2019

      Lots of countries have collaborated on the ISS though. What do you think should happen, if a crime had been committed?

      Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo admirable_cheetah | Hammond Junior School E
    15 Nov 2019

    I think you can go to space at any time you want

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo consistent_eagle | Hammond Junior School E
    15 Nov 2019

    I don't think Anne McLain should be allowed to access anyone's bank account

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      consistent_eagle's comment 15 Nov 2019

      But if she did it in space, whose law did she break?

      Reply to this comment
  • Preston Manor School observant_mango | Preston Manor School
    15 Nov 2019

    Since space tourism may become a future event, I believe there should be a type of law enforced in space. People may go to space for the sake of committing crimes and believing they can get away with it and that is not fair. I believe whichever country the rocket took off from should have their laws enforced. This also may be a reason to question whether space tourism should be approved.

    Reply to this comment
  • Preston Manor School ethical_laboratory | Preston Manor School
    15 Nov 2019

    I say yes and no. The reason why I said that is because who is the ruler of space? No one. There is no governing body that makes the rules that could be applicable to space. But, the moment she returns back to her home country, I would say that she needs to be held accountable for her actions. And because there are rules and laws in her home country, she can get her punishment.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      ethical_laboratory's comment 15 Nov 2019

      You've shown a logical chain of reasoning here. Does this mean no punishment can ever happen in space?

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