A Step Forward for Private
Property Rights in Outer Space
Authentication and the Outer Space Treaty
Until the law evolves, this procedural method for claims by private entities to off-planet property assures that the claimant is not in violation of existing legislation, and ensures the requirements for supervision/authorization are upheld by the US. - Everybody wins!
Definition of Authentication
Before Authentication is granted, it is the responsibility of the State Department to analyze the fundamental text of the underlying document presented for Authentication [22 CFR 131.2]. If any text within the document is found to be unlawful under U.S. or foreign law, the document will not be Authenticated [22 CFR 92.9(a)]. The Department is also responsible for ensuring the document's contents are in compliance with international treaty law [22 CFR 92.4(a)]. If Authentication of the document is prohibited by treaty law, the document will not be Authenticated [22 CFR 92.9(a)].
The fact that the underlying documents are compared against US, foreign and treaty law, and that national legislation essentially serves as a reflection of the U.N. Treaties regarding Outer Space, and are bound to implement this in consistency with one another (Article IX) allows for a direct test of the fundamental text of the document against the Outer Space Treaty on an international level through requesting Authentication for legal use abroad.
Effect of Authentications
Authentication of these documents for legal use abroad serves as formal confirmation from the US Secretary of State, under the Great Seal of the USA, that nothing in the underlying text is in violation of US, foreign or international treaty law – This claim of ownership to a celestial body by a private individual is not in direct violation of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. If any provision of the Outer Space Treaty been compromised, the document would not have been Authenticated.
PRIVATE PROPERTY CLAIMS IN OUTER SPACE DO NOT VIOLATE THE 1967 OUTER SPACE TREATY.
By confirming that off-planet property claims can be asserted and executed in a manner without violation of the Outer Space Treaty by either the private entity making the claim, or the member nation held internationally responsible for authorization and supervision of the private entity's activity, we've established that this particular activity, an assertion of a claim of property interest over a celestial body by a private entity, is NOT rendered patently unlawful by the Outer Space Treaty. Thus a precedent is set for a form of “private appropriation” taking place in absolute compliance with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.
Authentication is NOT:
– Confirmation of ownership or any kind of affirmation of title. The document is still a CLAIM.
– A formal statement by the US backing these claims – nations lack the authority to do so.
– A universal procedure to test such claims against the Outer Space Treaty: Not all nations
examine the underlying document against treaty law in the document legalization process
Compliance with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967
Authentication of a document asserting a private individuals claim of ownership to off-planet property lends clarity to certain aspects of the Outer Space Treaty – Not only do such claims not violate the treaty, they can be executed in complete compliance:
Article II – “National Appropriation”
1. The prohibition of “National Appropriation” doesn't directly apply to “Natural Persons”.
2. The act of certification by the U.S. is does not constitute “National Appropriation”.
Article VI - “International Responsibility”
By Authenticating the document for international legal use, the U.S. upholds its responsibility to the international community for supervision/authorization of the activities of non-governmental activities, as the document's contents are tested for conformity with all relevant treaties.
Article IX - “Conformity”
Nations are bound by the treaty to ensure implementation and interpretation take place with the corresponding interests of States-Parties to the Outer Space Treaty The U.S. would not take any action that another country wouldn't take. Assertion by the US that a private property claim does not violate the Outer Space Treaty other nations would likely be upheld by other nations.