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Meet The Martians ... We are All Mankind
Who are The Martians?.. that’s us … and anyone who cares to join us here in our peace mission.
That’s right… we DO come in peace.
Our peace mission?… to give the UN (COPUOS) a mighty wake up call and sting them into updating the Outer Space Treaty (OST). COPUOS is the UN committee that drafted the OST way back in 1967. Despite meeting every year, it hasn’t managed to do a lot since then.
This treaty (OST) is the cornerstone of all space law and the only thing preventing the nuclear weaponization of Earth’s orbit. The trouble is, it doesn’t just deal with weapons. It covers a lot of other issues in a manner that is quite outdated. It is becoming ever less fit-for-purpose. It is viewed as being bad for business (it doesn’t accommodate space mining or space settlement very easily). Thus, as countries now want to weaponize space (“peaceful” weapons, just to protect space assets!) and exploit celestial lands (that WILL happen within 10 years), the OST will become progressively marginalized. If we dont get it updated, it’s a gonner … and aggressive space weaponization will result.
There are plenty of other things that we’d like to see in an updated OST; like restrictions on space debris production (also debris removal plans) plus a business-friendly framework for exploitation of resources and controlled appropriation of land. We would like this update to lead on to the creation of a nimble, savvy, business friendly space council to provide light touch governance on exploitation, plus regulation on waste and debris. However, that might be too greedy. Realistically, we just want the law to remain relevant and respected, across all domains, such that weaponization of space is restricted to a minimal level (surveillance, guidance and communications only… no strike weapons… and that goes for Earth based space weapons too).
So our primary goal is to jolt the UN into updating space law (OST) such that aggressive space weaponization (especially nuclear weapons) does not easily happen. So come on, ‘@JOIN THE MARTIANS’ and give the OST a miracle makeover. We can save the Outer Space Treaty… and in turn, save the Earth.
So, how might a well developed claim to land on Mars (a pan-multinational communal claim including people from ALL nations) sting the UN into updating the laws of space? Well, it’s based on the unfortunate truth that nations are motivated more by greed than by a desire for peace. We gain leverage from that universal greed. Read on to see how we plan to ensure peace for the future years of space exploration and exploitation…
Weaponization of space is imminent…FACT!
All the major space faring nations are prepping for this.
They’ve all practised their ASAT capabilities (India is the latest to kill a satellite).
Soon we will see “peaceful weapons” in orbit…just protecting national assets.
That, of course, leads to an aggressive arms race (the UN’s biggest fear).
Satellites will be dodging ever more weapons and debris.
A mistake?.. an accident?.. malevolence?.. conflict will ignite.
And what of NUKES?… how long before they’re lurking 400km above our heads?
For over 50 years the Outer Space Treaty has protected us from all this… but…
The Treaty (OST) is starting to crumble. It’s viewed as bad for business…outdated.
New national space exploitation (mining etc) laws are great news for space biz…
But they do damage the OST… its strength is now reduced.
OST states that space if for peaceful uses only … so what does that mean?..
It means nations will launch only “peaceful weapons” into space (no kidding).
This further discredits the OST. Once weapons are used, the OST is toast.
With the OST reduced, there’s nothing in law to stop nuclear weaponization.
Nukes in orbit are even more dangerous than nukes in submarines…why?..
It’s all about the overwhelming military advantage of an anonymous first strike
So, what can we do?… where do we start?
Well, we want to prevent any weapons with strike capabilities from getting into space.
So we start with raising awareness… but national and international media dont sense any urgency on this matter.
They are wrong… we are running out of time on this … once strike weapons are up there… they’re not coming down.
So if we can’t stop nations from wanting to weaponize space, can we strengthen the law to stop them?
The only thing stopping aggressive weaponization (and especially nukes) in space is the 52year old OST.
>But the OST is being marginalized by new space mining laws and plans to “peacefully weaponize” space.
UN-COPUOS is the committee in Vienna that crafted the OST. We’ve been lobbying it (>10 years) to update the OST.
COPUOS has not been able, in over 50 years, to build on the OST with any new space laws for the modern age.
The committee works by 100% consensus. If only 99% of nation states are happy with a proposal, it wont happen.
That sort of committee needs a massive jolt (like the Cuban [nuclear] Missile Crisis in the lead up to the OST drafting).
So how might we jolt COPUOS into updating OST so that it works for space biz and stays strong against weapons)?
If the imminent threat of space weaponization can’t jolt COPUOS into action, what will?.. we’ve got a plan…
An elegant plan!.. after much research and discussion with top scientists and lawyers expert in international law.
We’ve crafted a legitimate claim to celestial land (Mars) based on sustained “actual possession.”
For 10 years we have targeted Mars with powerful laser beams (causing a very small beneficial effect over time).
Together with copious admin/governance planning, the high power laser activities will support our claim of possession.
We’re gathering people from EVERY nation (195+1) to join us in the claim. Now onwards to an international court!
We aim to prove, in a high profile court setting, that our claim can negotiate the Outer Space Treaty & customary law.
Now that doesn’t mean that we all become Kings of Mars, but it could sting the UN into updating the OST.
Like using a risky new drug in trying to save a badly ill patient, we may end up harming the very thing we care about.
It’s worth the risk… the Outer Space Treaty is indeed a very ill patient.
Note: although we have great ambitions to implement all the possible benefits that may result from the legal propagation of our claim, in truth we will be super satisfied if all we do is raise public awareness of the fragility of space security and jolt the UN into updating the space laws. Within those updated laws should be strong clear limitations to space militarization and a plan for effective surveillance/inspection of space traffic. If a need arises for a celestial/orbital police force, it should wear UN blue hats! Hopefully that will be enough to keep us all safe from strike weapons in space, especially nuclear weaponry.
Executive Summary: The Martians' Peace Mission
THE MARTIANS’ PEACE MISSION IS BIPHASIC:
PHASE ONE:: CONSTRUCT A LEGITIMATE CELESTIAL LAND CLAIM(s).
The Mars Claims are a bundle of three discrete claims (1. Land 2. Resources 3. Geo-spatial Slots on surface of Mars).
If Claim 1 (land) succeeds, then the further two claims need not apply.
The claims are pan-multinational communal claims (thus involving people from EVERY NATION in equitable numbers).
They are communal claims of actual possession of Mars land, seeking international registration (title or priority rights).
Ifhey suggest space is a benefit and responsibility of/for all mankind… perhaps even owned by mankind), the space laws clearly do not bar any communal, multinational, shared ownership of celestial land (note land title (possessory, beneficial title with UN holding legal title as trustee) is registered, the land will be common land.
So we have engineered a legally robust claim to possession of land on Planet Mars … NOT another silly spurious claim to celestial land. It is a very serious and detailed effort, faithfully based on the norms of international law (and private law).
It took months of discussions with world expert space lawyers. It required mathematical verification and the persistent targeting of Mars using lasers of enormous power and accuracy. That’s right, lasers… VERY powerful class 4 lasers.
In terms of the earliest steps towards terraforming Mars, our sustained use of powerful lasers does provide a very small benefit (a non-zero amount) to the land & atmosphere of Planet Mars (CO2 sublimation and other effects). Together with a wealth of admin/governance planning, this activity is commensurate with the modest levels of proof required to satisfy the legal definition of ‘actual possession’ (=effective occupation) of difficult, distant and rather barren land. Mars is certainly difficult, distant and pretty barren. Sure, its strategically more important than “equivalent” barren land on Earth (a major issue certainly, which we will explore below in the self assessment document), but existing customary law, based on physical quality, does supports our claim of possession. Thus using the existing (and still current) model for land acquisition on the basis of physical quality (geographical & geological), our actions should prove competitive in justifying our claim of actual possession over Martian land. Under this model, we DONT have to settle on Mars to claim it.
Now ‘actual possession’ is the most accepted method (in modern international and private laws) for acquiring new land ownership rights. Space law (OST) blocks the ‘full’ appropriation of celestial land. It prevents nations from acquiring “ownership” of celestial lands (sovereignty / National Appropriation). It also prevents nations from indirectly acquiring sovereignty via claims made by non-governmental nationals. Such nationals (companies or individuals), under customary law derived from OST articles II and VI plus subsequent state practice, are barred from gaining property rights to celestial land from their parent nation (i.e. the normal route to property rights via a national registration process is barred).
There is nothing in law to prevent the UN agreeing to form a celestial registry (as a supranational body) that could award celestial property rights (for resources or actual territory) to deserving individuals or companies. Although there are still a smaller number of scholars/jurists that believe otherwise, it is widely accepted that whilst national sovereignty (and hence nationally awarded property rights) is barred, actual possession per se is not barred at all (see the Legal Self assessment Document, below).
Now this ‘non-appropriation principle’ has taken a bit of a beating by the exciting new national space laws (Luxembourg and USA), which facilitate space mining and the ownership of any chunks of the planet they can “obtain”. So, the Outer Space Treaty (OST, the only real law of space) has been rather weakened. But even before this weakness, it did have a gap in the non-appropriation principle. Perhaps it was a deliberate gap. You see, the OST describes the using of space and celestial bodies as being the Province of Mankind (indeed the Moon Agreement (MA) declares the Solar System to be the Common Heritage of Mankind. As well as these noble but vague terms (t again: for “all mankind” … not “all nations”). There is actually nothing in law to stop the UN from declaring itself to be owner (or at least custodian) of the solar system. Surely this was intended. Rather than a careless loophole, it is a deliberate provision. Certainly, in reading article 11, para 5, the Moon Agreement, one can understand that the intended application of the phrase, ‘common heritage of mankind’, was to facilitate the establishment of an international regulatory regime (likely a UN committee) with jurisdiction over the solar system. It’s not a big leap from jurisdiction to sovereignty. The intended regime could feasibly assume celestial sovereignty, on behalf of humankind… likewise, there is nothing to prevent a pan-multinational community from making a legitimate claim for communal, shared ownership of celestial land (as tenants-in-common), with UN invited to assume sole trusteeship, and all celestial land to be registered and maintained as ‘common land’ (with public rights of access and use).
So indeed, that is what we are doing here. We aim to verify that we have a membership of co-claimants (‘The Martians’) that encompasses every nation of the world. Now in order to validate such a pan-multinational communal claim, an international legal due process is required. A national court or registry would not have jurisdiction. Each nation of the world, as per the direction of Article VI, OST, may indeed be responsible for their nationals’ individual activities in space (note: it’s unlikely, but conceivable, that our Earth based actions could be defined as space activities). Our activities (laser use and governance planning etc.) explicitly support a sustained single act of ‘actual possession’ (which as already stated, is allowed in space law). It is on this act of possession that our ‘application for first registration’ of celestial land (Mars) is justified. The legal appraisal and registration of such internationally shared ownership is certainly not a responsibility for any nation. It is a legitimate process that requires international approval – something that could be delivered by an international court with UN consent. It should be stated again that the right to property is a basic human right (see UDHR and ECHR). If our claim stands up to appropriate legal scrutiny, then the UN (in the form of a committee of world nations) is rather compelled to tolerate the outcome.
PHASE TWO:: TAKE THE CLAIM TO INTERNATIONAL COURT AND WORLD MEDIA.
Phase two is all about accessing legal due process (International court), with a lot of very interested world media. Although the Mars Land Claim is constructed to publicly prove the weakness of space law with respect to celestial land appropriation, it is our intent to put world media focus on the wilting plight of OST and the dangers that come from that – i.e., aggressive space weaponization.
So we are actually less concerned about space laws relating to property rights in space compared to the worrying issues of impending space weapons and uncontrolled orbital debris. Thus we are ‘attacking’ the OST from one particular angle (regarding celestial property) with the hope that we can sting the UN into updating the entire treaty, thus making it fit for purpose again. If it becomes relevant to all modern space activity then, once again, it will be respected by all nations and therefore retain its original strength against space weaponization. Ideally, the updated treaty’s strength against ALL space weapons should be enhanced.
We WILL run with the claim as far as it will go… and we are persistent sorts here! We will keep pushing.
It is 100% truthful to say that anyone who joins us here in our communal claim to Mars is quite likely to benefit themselves or their future family descendants. We will ensure that the claim is legally acknowledged. That will confer authenticity. Despite the minimal physical control we have applied to Mars (powerful laser), the claim is faithfully adherence to norms of international law and negotiates space law. Thus, there exists a genuine prospect of success in court.
First we have to get to a court with jurisdiction. The main candidates would be ECHR, PCA or a special role for ICJ. We all hold a basic human right to property, so we should not be barred from legal due process (since there is nothing in law that clearly bars our honest claim from the outset). We have identified PCA as the most appropriate court (Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague). The PCA has responded positively to our requests. They have, in writing, confirmed that they stand ready to arbitrate on our case, once the UN itself agrees to that. So, in order for us to internationalize the matter (a national court would not have jurisdiction for such a case!), we must first gain access to either UN committee or international court via national government or national court. We anticipated resistance from national government (UK gov has written many replies, always trying to thwart our access to the UN (COPUOS). So now we are, as expected, progressing to the UK High Court (Judicial Review), seeking either equitable remedy (a mandatory order for UK Gov to submit the claim to COPUOS) or referral to ECHR. We are confident of success in this.
Substantial funds are required when you go through national and then international courts. We note that the last big case of arbitration over disputed land, China v Philippines, consumed $60 million in the PCA courtroom! Well, we don’t have that… but together with our own personal funds, we have amassed a nice little war-chest from all the small fees (less than $20 per claim) that our co-claimants have paid to join us (that rate equates to approx 2 acres of Mars land for a US Cent!). We still need more people to join us (thus we have recently issued hundreds of thousands of Free-Voucher claims that have been sent out for distribution by national government and national media sources in every nation of the world. The numbers of free vouchers going out to people of every nation are determined by national population and accepted statistics on national corruption/huma rights standards. Thus we are freely gathering all mankind to join the claim, either for free or for a small equitable price (more people living in India can comfortably afford $18 than people living in USA). In addition to our committment to benefit all mankind, we have committed to hold the claimed land as open “common land.” This construct enables our communal claim to sit well within all international space laws. So, when our chance comes in court, we are ready to snatch it.
So, is that it?… we’ve designed a cunning celestial land claim that might hugely benefit our lucky family descendants and have future cities on Mars named after us?… No, of course that’s not the point. Even if our claim is not a final success in court, it will have caused a huge international media stir and will have exposed a serious weakness in the OST. We think that will sting the UN into action. Hopefully they will find the cohesive spirit to successfully update the old treaty, such that it is fit for purpose again and can keep us all safe from reckless space weaponization.
But there is a chance of a completely successful outcome. Our level of proof for “actual possession” of the difficult land on Mars is pretty minimal, but it does pass the bar in international law for this geographical/geological standard of land. But despite its barren quality, Mars has huge strategic value compared to equivalent barren land on Earth. Thus we should expect a judge in an international court to indicate a higher level of proof for “actual possession of Mars land”… such as actual human settlement and proven trading. But that in itself gives the judge a headache … it kicks the can down the road but sets up an opportunity for a wealthy “multi-national group” to launch a mission to Mars… in which settlement is achieved. Thus we expect the judge to think again about raising the bar to our claim… especially when the strategic goals of our claim are so clearly stated as beneficial.
So, about those beneficial strategic goals: we have directed (in our communal application for first registration of Mars Land) that should our communal claim prove successful in generating an award of land title, the land is to be declared “common land” and the ownership title is to be placed in trust immediately (via the deciding Court, with Dr Philip Davies, having relinquished all beneficial status, acting as settlor if required). The land Trust will be named The Mars Trust. We propose a modern trust rule as used by Czech Republic and Quebec, Canada, whereby ‘patrimony by appropriation’ result in an ‘ownerless trust’… managed by trustee as non-owner. The alternative is a common law trust with split ownership (nobody will hold both legal ownership and equitable ownership rights). In both cases the Declaration of Trust will be suitably complex in order to control outcomes. The UN is requested to assume the role of trustee (if refused, Dr Davies will act as one of 2-4 non-beneficial trustees). All co-claimants become beneficiaries with unequal beneficial shares (possibly contingent beneficiaries). This prescribed situation affords the UN a preferential right to acquire all land shares if it can successfully ratify an updated OST and then pay each contingent beneficiary (the co-claimants) a nominal fee. This fee was just $1000 to each claimant in 2017, but is doubling biennially, such that by 10 October 2037 (70th anniversary of OST) it will become $1 million (hence a financial pressure is applied to UN in order to get things done asap). If the UN does not achieve those straightforward, beneficial conditions by 10.10.2038, then each beneficiary is allocated a massive plot of land against their name, by means of random lottery (plots are 9 sq km to 35 sq km = 2200 to 8500 acres!). Their plots will be available to use and develop but legal ownership titles will only be raised and issued at such time that individual celestial property rights become accepted as legitimate (and at that time the trust would be dissolved). Until then the land will remain under shared ownership within the trust. All the land on Mars will continue to be maintained, as per registration, as common land (public access and use permissions).
Thus, whether the UN engages with the solution or not, it all ends up with celestial land being registered as common land, with an opportunity to form a light-touch regulatory regime (a responsible user group, set up to facilitate commercial exploitation ventures on the land, whilst ensuring ethical practice and waste management, plus preserving opportunities for all peoples from nations yet to become space faring).
Of course, our preferred outcome is for the UN to update the OST (to keep space safe from strike weapons, regulate debris and facilitate frictionless space business)… also for the UN to pay the nominal fees to our co-claimants (a great dollar reward for them)… thus leaving all the Mars land under the trusteeship of the UN. In that case, using the ‘Czech Trust Rules’, nobody actually owns the land, the UN (as sole trustee) just holds it in trust for all humankind… and is well placed to form a space council (a savvy, pro-commerce user group) for governance purposes.
Thus, with smart endeavour, we might fully deliver on the key ethical goals of space law (OST mainly, but also MA) and achieve a greater level of assured security and safety for all humanity. Whether that satisfies your understanding of ‘province of mankind’ or ‘common heritage of mankind’, we don’t think really matters… they are ill-defined terms … but we think we’ve got them both covered.
NOTE: in 2017 we developed two supplementary celestial claims (largely based on “priority rights” to resources, plots and slots: see below). These additional claims bring rather different legal considerations. They need not apply if we are successful in our propagation of “Claim 1” (the Mars land Claim).
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