Celestial Anarchy: States' Right to Self-Defense in Outer Space

Dio H. Tobing(1*), Olivia N. Maryatmo(2)

(*) Corresponding Author


This article examines to what extent States’ right to self-defence should be applied in the outer space. The concept of self-defence within international regulations remains debatable. Brought by the existing reality in international system, this article analyses and suggests in further details that the act of States’ right for self-defence should be limited to the act of militarization and not weaponization in the outer space. The argument in this article is carried by the perspective of realism that argues the structure of international system as an anarchy in which states are naturally competing one and another for the purpose of power due to the effect of living within power stratification. Consequently, if states are allowed to exercise their right to self-defence without any limitation, the context of selfdefence becomes broader and will constitute a threat towards international peace and security. Therefore, the right of states to self-defence should be limited within the context of outer space to support only military purpose without any form space-to-space, space-to-earth, or earth-to-space weapons.


Self-defence, outer space, militarization, weaponization, space law.

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