JEAIL > Volume 4(2); 2011 > Issue Focus
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2011

Liability Regime of International Space Law: Some Lessons from International Nuclear Law

Lalin Kovudhikulrungsri
Leiden University, Netherlands
131/91 St. Louis 3 Sathorn Bangkok, 10120 Thailand.

Duangden Nakseeharach
Mahasarakham University, Thailand
6/14 Chidchol Village, Gerng District, Maueng, Mahasarakham 44000 Thailand.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Since 1960, the international community has established a plenty of multilateral agreements on liability regime for ultra-hazardous activities, particularly in the area of international nuclear and space law. The liability regime of nuclear damage has imposed compensation exclusively on operators of nuclear installations whether private or State under strict liability principle of the international conventions. Moreover, new changes of international nuclear conventions following Chernobyl incident reflect a significant change of liability for nuclear accidents. Although there was similar incident, called Cosmos 954 case, with nuclear activity, international space law has not developed and remained ambiguous in certain respects, while imposing absolute liability on State actors. This paper, thus, studies whether States, alone, should be liable for all damage from space activities caused by private operator, similar to the liability scheme of international nuclear law. Moreover, vague term in international space law, for instance, damage and other relevant concepts such as space safety standard and international space organization have been taken into account by comparative approach with the terms of international nuclear law.

Keywords : Liability Regime, International Space Law, International Nuclear Law, Strict Liability, Cosmos 954 Case, Chernobyl Incident

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