21 October 2009. This new issue of “ESPI Perspectives” poses the question, whether non-binding arrangements like the EU’s Draft Code of Conduct are effective mechanisms for reliable disarmament in outer space.
The EU Draft Code of Conduct proposes specific non-binding confidence building measures or rules to guarantee the safety, security and predictability of activities in outer space. This Perspective, focuses on the use of non-binding ‘soft law’ as a means of furthering the will of the international community, avoiding the need to secure consent as would be required under treaty or customary sources of international law by which States become bound. If results of the cold war saw predictable verification systems and treaty commitments, stemming from formal and codified negotiation, what would be the role and effect of a new form of action such as the draft Code of Conduct, in the disarmament domain, proposing politically binding agreement based on flexible and informal working procedures applicable to military uses of outer space?
Tare C. Brisibe
The author of this issue of “ESPI perspectives”, Tare C. Brisibe holds a PhD from Leiden University. He is Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs at SITA (Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques) Geneva, on secondment to OnAir (the SITA / Airbus joint venture). He is a MSS graduate of the International Space University, Strasbourg and member of the Nigerian Bar. The author previously served as Deputy Director (Legal Services & International Co-operation) National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigeria, and was a former Regulatory Information Officer at Inmarsat PLC (the privatised International Maritime Satellite Organisation - INMARSAT).