Isaac Scientific Publishing

Environmental Pollution and Protection

Space Debris: Legal and Policy Implications

Download PDF (285.8 KB) PP. 23 - 31 Pub. Date: March 28, 2017

DOI: 10.22606/epp.2017.21004


  • Hakeem Ijaiya*
    Department of Private and Property Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Nigeria


Today the greatest hazard facing human activities in outer space is space debris. These man-made objects orbiting Earth pose dangers to spacecraft and the astronaut alike. The study examines the sources of space debris, the risk posed by space debris to space activities and the outer space environment. The study also examines the effectiveness of the present legal mechanisms for the regulation of space refuse through an analysis of international legal policy with particular reference to the national space law and policy of the United States, European Union (EU), Russia and Japan. The study analyses the legal and policy implications of space debris in order to evaluate the adequacy of the present international legal regime for recognizing and regulating space debris. The study relies on primary and secondary sources of information. The information obtained through these sources was subjected to content analysis. The study concludes with a non-binding treaty-based proposal for a new legal debris control regime that can encourage compliance and enhance accountability. The study recommended a review of the international law as well as the laws and policies of international organizations and the major space-faring States.


Debris, space debris, outer space, space environment, legal regime and legal policy.


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