See below for all the whys, hows and what ifs
- For more detail on this dangerous matter, click HERE.
The main strength of the 52 year old Treaty was against aggressive weaponization and land grabbing … it is still clinging on but is now much weakened on those two key matters. Note also, these days the powerful nations are happy to rip up existing treaties if they don’t suit them: the USA and Russia have just pulled out of the INF nuclear treaty and already new weapons are being developed. The Space Treaty can be dropped by any signatory nation with just one year’s notice. Unfortunately, although previously seen as strong against weapons, it makes no effective provision for space exploitation (commerce, mining etc). Thus it has been seen as “bad for business”… such that space faring nations have resorted to fixing their own laws instead. Meanwhile, the UN shuffles it’s feet and worries… but can’t seem to make things better. COPUOS (Committee for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space) needs to be stung into action with the same sense of urgency and cohesion that it had in 1967 when the OST was born.
In the absence of aggressive aliens, there is no sensible justification for space based weaponry… just a whole lot of risk.
UNCOPUOS believes that the old OST and resultant customary space law can prevent appropriation of celestial land. In most cases it probably can… but there are a number of ways to successfully negotiate the applicable laws in order to prove a legitimate right to celestial land title. It is not exploiting a tiny loophole. It is actually following the applicable law all the way to land title registration. There is, of course, some complexity… such that we cannot provide for the complete legal construct in just one sentence here. We reommend you study our detailed Legal Self Assessment in order to understand the legal and scientific construct of our Mars Land Claim. However, it is pertinent to point out here that we have remained faithful to all applicable laws… both the existing international/private laws (concerning the acquisition of geographically difficult, barren or remote land) and the more recent Space Laws (mainly the OST – with barriers to national and individual ownership of celestial land).
Pivotal to our claim is the knowledge that there is nothing in Space Law to prevent land possession per se (untitled, without ownership rights). In circumstances when the land claimant is a pan-multinational entity (supranational?), there is nothing to prevent the conversion of that “actual possession”, via legal due process (registration via international court) into ownership rights.
It is our intent to form a multinational body of Mars Land Claimants (gathering claimants from every single country on Earth). Resting on a single act of continuous “actual possession” our communal claim has now been presented to national government in order to facilitate a route to international legal due process in an international court with juristiction. It is our hope that such a high profile legal process (with some genuine potential for successful outcome) will shock and sting UNCOPUOUS into updating the space laws. It is also our hope that their efforts, rather than just addressing appropriation, will be aimed at updating the OST in its entirety (to render it fit for purpose again…and therefore strong against weapons again).
There is certainly some risk in openly damaging the OST further… but our strategy informs that it is a necessary risk.
- For detailed info on this go to our Legal Self Assessment pages.
The claim is entirely legitimate. Our fund raising (for upcoming legal costs) is also legitimate (we are selling Mars Land Claims, not deeds, for less than 1 cent per 2 acres). International law applies to space also (see Article III of OST). On the basis of some high profile national acquisitions of new land during the last 100 years, International Law provides guidance for the likely proof requirement to justify actual possession (= effective occupation) of difficult, distant, barren land. Compared to the requirements to acquire lush, fertile lands (actual human settlement and proven trade), the acquisition of such poor quality land requires a much lower level of actual human involvement… indeed, settlement is not an absolute requirement.
Our persistent use of high power lasers (applied to Mars) does have a very (very) small beneficial effect on planetary conditions (with a view to future terraforming). This, together with extensive administrative/governance plans, gives our claim a fair degree of credibility when held against the requirements in International Law.
So, we are saying that the claim is both acceptable to International Law and tolerated (perhaps even encouraged) by Space Law.
In order to bar our final progress to Mars land registration, a judge in international court could further raise the customary proof requirements for actual possession of barren land towards actual human settlement (but that creates new, even bigger problems – in the near future, a multinational organisation [with exploitative goals] could successfully acquire land ownership once a human presence on Mars is established). Alternatively, the judge may attempt to stretch the non-appropriation principle to prevent the communal acquisition of celestial land title in the form of a territory trust… but that is not an easy stretch. The Outer Space Treaty (OST) does not create any bar to international co-ownership of celestial land, indeed it goes part way to facilitate it: it states that the use of celestial bodies is the Province of all Mankind and the Moon agreement (MA) goes further, stating that Planet Mars is the Common Heritage of Mankind (it explains how this should be delivered, via a responsible international regime).
So, in preparation for international legal due process, we are currently striving, via the release of hundreds of thousands of FREE voucher codes (specific to each country and sent to each national government and national media outlets), to effect an equitable distribution of Mars Land Claims between peoples of ALL nations.
Thus our Mars Land Claim seeks to honour the text and the ethos of both the OST and the Moon Agreement. We are applying for legal due process in order to generate new Mars land title rights and immediately place these in trust (The Mars Trust), with UN offered the role of sole trustee and all our fellow co-claimants as “contingent beneficiaries” (contingent tenants-in-common). Dr Philip Davies, founder of Mars Register, is prepared to act as settlor, as required, and is also prepared to relinquish any beneficiary status himself.
Our application for land registration instructs that the celestial land should be registered as “common land” (that is land with rights for public access and use). Such land already exists under national laws (see UK and US “common land” and “open range”). The co-claimants immediately become contingent beneficiaries since the Deed-Of-Trust will (as per our existing Declaration of Intent) provide the UN with preferential rights to acquire all beneficial land shares IF it can successfully ratify a new or updated Outer Space Treaty. If such does occur, the UN can acquire all those “contingent beneficiary shares” in the Mars Trust by payment of a nominal fee to each land claimant. This fee started at $1000 in 2017 and will double biennially, such that by 2037 (70th anniversary of OST) it will be $1 million to be paid to each claimant. Thus there is also a financial pressure applied to have the UN complete a treaty update at the earliest opportunity. This situation, as described, results in all Mars Land falling under UN Trusteeship with the “Deed of Trust” providing for the formation of a nimble, savvy and genuinely pro-business Space Council, in order to apply light-touch governance to such issues as resources exploitation and some firm control on space debris management.
Should we manage to generate the registration and allocation of Martian land rights into the Mars Trust but no effective OST update is achieved in the years until 10.10.2038, then the trust will have land allocated to claimants by lottery (as per Deed of Trust). In this less satisfactory situation, our co-claimants will become owners of “common land.” If the UN has not by then formed an appropriate regulatory regime (to govern appropriate land use and exploitation or resources), then “The Martians” themselves will form a suitable, business-friendly council for this purpose.
Thus, irrespective of the ultimate result, should we manage to instigate the award of celestial land rights on the basis of our communal claim (with co-claimants from EVERY country on Earth), then in all cases we will deliver closely on the goals of OST and MA.
With all of Earth’s nations being equitably represented, the enjoyment of Mars, indeed Mars itself, will have become the province and heritage of humankind. Just as important, the calorific value of commercial exploitation is not diminished. A light touch, pro-business Space Council will serve to facilitate investor confidence whilst protecting the enduring needs of all humanity.
- For detailed info on this go to our Legal Self Assessment pages.
We have a practising doctor and ex- senior military officer in the team. We are generally relaxed and sport loving. It took a lively conversation in a Whistler (B.C) ski bar (Jan 2010) to get us interested in all this.
Once we fully appreciated the horrible danger that space weaponization posed (as opposed to super-fun StarWars), we then realized that the Outer Space Treaty was the ONLY thing really stopping nuclear weaponization of space… and it was now being marginalized because it did nothing to facilitate space commerce (mining etc). So it was, and still is, seen as bad for business and we recognized that it’s days were numbered unless the UN could properly update it.
Unfortunately, as expected, the UN paid no heed to our lobbying, petitioning and encouragement. COPUOS continues to slowly progress the concept of fluffy non-binding soft law (and actually, not much of that either). The OST is on the ropes.
Space faring nations can now pretty much shape the space laws to suit their needs. Its exciting, certainly … but with the arrival of weapons it’s going to get very dangerous… SOON (within 10 years).
Two of the strongest articles in the OST, art II (non appropriation) and art VI (non aggression) will progressively decline under the weight of state practice and national legislation. Within 10-20 years we will have “dual use” space equipment, with nuclear components (which can quickly become weaponized), stalking us from above.
So we have consulted with the best lawyers and physicists and have steadily developed the practice and legal construct of this celestial land claim. We think its strong enough to penetrate all space law and shock the UN into action. With respect to witnessed acts of “Mars possession” (declaring our claim to Mars, supported by high power laser applications), we are now into our 10th year. We anticipate getting through the national courts in time for an arrival in International Court in 2020 (The PCA has already agreed in writing to administer the case).
Remember, although it would be really nice to win out … we don’t need to gain land title registration to get to our primary goal… we just need to cause a big JOLT to UNCOPUOS in order to trigger a long overdue update to the old space treaty.
The US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (2015) has breathed new life into space exploration and will ultimately facilitate an exciting commercial future in space. With much improved investor confidence, we now have major non-gov companies spending billions in the development of new space tech. Such technological advances are almost certain to have hugely beneficial applications on Earth, thus helping all humanity.
Whilst we truly support the US in all of this, we do want US State Dep’t to show responsible world leadership. They have to acknowledge that their new national law does reduce the authority of the OST. They should admit that fact and show leadership in their efforts to update existing International Space Law accordingly.
“Peaceful militarization” of space (which is imminent) will further squeeze the old Treaty. All space faring nations are in on this…
USA should come forward with genuine efforts to liaise with the Russians, Chinese, India and ESA, in order to update the OST and maintain that International legal strength against aggressive weaponization in space (esp nukes).
Finally, although we really respect and understand the US fear of UN regulation, we can imagine a more nimble, savvy, pro-business version of the Seabed Authority, which could administer a light touch governance to matters of celestial exploitation.
We should not fear light governance and even some regulation, especially when it comes to the matter of space debris… (although the missguided British attitude to EU/Brexit says otherwise).
We have sent out emails (containing voucher codes for Free Mars Claims) to the national governments and media sources in every single country of the world. Really, we have.
We are giving away hundreds of thousands of recorded Mars Land Claims – to be awarded equitably (and for free) beween all nations.
Obviously we are also fundraising for our expected legal costs, hence the tiny fees for saver and standard claims (less than 1cent for 10 acres claimed).
With buoyant interest in our venture, we find that these small fees are adding up nicely, such that we can now enter the national legal appraisal phase (in order to gain entry to International Court).
So, to the people of every nation, come to us, follow us (Twitter/FB) and JOIN US!
- Thinking about staking a claim and joining THE MARTIANS? … for more info, click HERE.