Space Law in Nigeria: Manual on the legislative framework
The beginnings of space law can be traced back to 1910, where Belgian lawyer, Emil Laude in his publication, “revue juridique de la locomotion aerienne” briefly commented on the concept of space law. He expressed his view that at some point in time, mankind
would reach beyond airspace and into outer space; at which point some legal issues would need to be addressed. Subsequently, a
Czech writer, Vladimir Mandl, published the first book on space law in 1932.
The book highlighted various issues that laid the foundation for the development of Space Law. Issues of liability, the assertion of states sovereignty over celestial bodies, the need for supervision of activities in outer space and the question of where space begins were raised and explored in this book. Such discussions, however, were purely hypothetical, as mankind had not yet begun exploring outer space. It wasn’t until 1957 when the USSR launched the first artificial satellite (SPUTNIK I) into outer space that the need for a legal and regulatory framework governing outer space activities became apparent.