International air law is actually a misnomer, the more appropriate title for what is commonly known as “air law” should be international aviation law. With the development of aircraft technology, the need for international regulation arose in the early 1900s. In 1910, the first aviation law conference occurred and since then, a number of important international law instruments were established. International aviation law covers issues including safety, aircraft standards, airport security, pollution and warfare. A special division of the United Nations, the International Civil Aviation Organization, governs the advancement and promotion of this body of law, but much of aviation law is the result of various national laws and standards as well.

 

International space law evolved conceptually after the former Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik satellite in the late 1950s. As exploration of what is called outer space (beginning at approximately 100 kilometers above sea level) developed, it was necessary for states to mutually agree to a set of basic guidelines regarding what exploration and cultivation of this frontier entailed. The United Nations established the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and five subsequent international legal instruments and five corresponding policies that cover a range of issues from restricting appropriation of outer space by any one country, to the freedom of exploration, to the liability for damage caused by space objects and a host of other related issues. International space law is entirely reliant upon mutual agreement amongst participating states, informed by non-governmental bodies and national law, to issues that involve ongoing issues including the operation of satellites and nuclear testing in outer space.

International Law Instruments

Air

Convention on International Civil Aviation (1944)  “Chicago Convention”

Ratified by Pakistan on November 6, 1947

 

Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air(1929) “Warsaw Convention”

Succeeded to by Pakistan on December 30, 1969

 

Protocol to Amend the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air (1955) “The Hague Protocol”

Ratified by Pakistan on January 16, 1961

 

Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (1963) “Tokyo Convention”

Ratified by Pakistan on September 11, 1973

 

Space

 Treaty on principles governing the activities of States in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies (1967) “Outer Space Treaty”

Ratified by Pakistan on April 8, 1968

 

Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space(1968) “Rescue Agreement”

Acceded to by Pakistan on November 2, 1973

 

Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (1972) “Liability Convention”

Ratified by Pakistan on April 10, 1973

 

Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space(1974) “Registration Convention”

Ratified by Pakistan on February 27, 1986

 

Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1979) “Moon Treaty”

Acceded to by Pakistan on February 27, 1986

 

Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and under Water (1963)

Ratified by Pakistan on March 3, 1988

 

Publications