42 Brit. Y.B. Int'l L. 278 (1967)
Outer Space Treaty, The; Darwin, H. G.

handle is hein.journals/byrint42 and id is 284 raw text is: THE OUTER SPACE TREATY*
By H. G. DARWIN
THE Treaty on Principles governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and
Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies,' which was opened
for signature in London, Moscow and Washington on 27 January 1967, entered into
force on io October 1967, and has now about thirty parties, is a milestone in the
development of the international law of outer space. It has its own importance as a
legal instrument; but, being closely connected with other texts, it must also be
seen in its context. It falls within one of the most rapidly developing branches of
international law which concerns the peaceful and orderly regulation of new environ-
ments opened up by new techniques, beginning with the Antarctic Treaty2 signed at
Washington on i December 1959, passing by way of the Test Ban Treaty3 (if we may
slightly stretch the definition), to the present active debates on the deep sea floor re-
sulting from a proposal by the Government of Malta, which led to General Assembly
Resolution 2340 (XXII) of 18 December 1967.
1. THE BACKGROUND TO THE TREATY
The story of the Outer Space Treaty may be briefly told. Its parentage is disputed.
The Soviet Union regard it as a late and grudging acceptance by others of their thesis
that the first step to be taken was, as they had proposed in 1958, an international
treaty on co-operation in the exploration and peaceful use of outer space. The United
States regard it as an expansion of their proposal for a treaty governing the exploration
of the moon and other celestial bodies, which was made by President Johnson on 7
May 1966, but enlarged to cover activities in outer space. In this instance, the strength
of the infant is more important than its parentage.
When the Legal Sub-Committee of the Outer Space Committee met at Geneva on
12 July 1966, there were before it two drafts, both dated 16 June, submitted by the
United States and the Soviet Union respectively.4 The debate continued in meetings
first in the Sub-Committee, and partly in a Working Group on the whole open to the
public but without records, until 4 August; the resulting agreed articles were re-
corded but important differences remained.5 The Sub-Committee in New York made
no progress during September, but after informal consultations further meetings in
December 1966 registered a completed draft. This text was presented to the First
Committee and the Plenary of the General Assembly, where Resolution 2222 (XXI) to
which the draft Treaty was annexed was adopted unanimously. The Treaty was
opened for signature in London, Moscow and Washington on 27 January 1967 and it
entered into force on io October 1967.
© H. G. Darwin, 1968.
United Kingdom Treaty Series, No. io (sg68), Cmnd. 3519.
2 Ibid., No. 97 (r96x), Cmnd. 1535.
The Treaty banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and under
Water, signed at Moscow, on 5 August 1963, United Kingdom Treaty Series, No. 3 (1964), Cmnd.
2245.
4 Circulated as U.N. Docs. A/AC. 105/32 and A/6352 respectively.
5 The agreed texts and outstanding proposals are in Annexes 1I and III of the Report of the
Legal Sub-Committee of 6 September 1966 (A/AC. 105/35).

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