Developing a Space Industry in Costa Rica: Laying the Basis for a Policy and Legal Framework
This paper attempts to lay the basis for the creation of a legal and policy framework for the development of commercial space industry in Costa Rica. The approach will be doctrinal and reform orientated from a Costa Rican perspective. To that end, its first part briefly establishes some of the fundamental considerations towards the elaboration of a legal framework. It introduces the current international legal regime over outer space, particularly, three of the five treaties prepared and negotiated within the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. In particular, some of the essential obligations related to State’s international responsibility and liability for non-governmental activities in outer space will be analyzed. In addition, using the aforementioned doctrinal and reform orientated approach, the issue of the national implementation of the international legal framework is addressed. In its second part, the need for a policy framework is reviewed. An historical overview of the commercialization policies in the US is offered as a clear example of the significance of clear and continued policies for the development of a commercial space industry.