Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Scott F. March


As the United States makes strides toward maintaining a permanent presence in space, there is a need for a legal framework to adjudicate disputes arising among men and women working there. Present law does not adequately take into account the unique conditions encountered in space such as isolation, confinement and dangerous environments. This Note proposes that the United States codify substantive and procedural law to facilitate resolution of disputes in space. The code must allow for timely dispute resolution and avoid serious disruption of the mission. The proposal suggests that national, not international, law should form the basis for the code and that the code should be adopted on a federal rather than a state level. The author recommends that a crew member be the administering authority responsible for adjudicating disputes. Several candidates suitable for that position, such as the spaceship commander, trained managers, engineers, and astrolaw practitioners are offered for consideration by the author.