The ambiguous or indeterminate nature of legal norms in space law can be problematic. However, consensus may often develop around a general principle much quicker than around a detailed plan of action. The very existence of a principle can be significant because, at best, it can lead to positive change or at least can ensure the continuation of a dialogue. Such principles might have a conceptual autonomy to develop in ways that the actors most responsible for their inception, usually nations, had not foreseen. Their very ambiguity can render such evolution more likely.
In this essay, [Aganaba-Jeanty] examine[s] the intended justice outcome of space law by exploring the foundational principle of space law that “the exploration and use of outer space… shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development.” [Aganaba-Jeanty] re-explore[s] the objective of a group of developing nations to find meaning to Article 1 of the Outer Space Treaty, which concluded with the adoption of a UN Declaration known as the Space Benefits Declaration.1 That declaration ultimately did not create any new rights for the developing nations and based on that experience, [Aganaba-Jeanty] argue[s] that it is almost impossible in today’s context to adopt legally binding rules in the space context that all can agree with.