The Göttingen Draft Treaty to Ban Space Weapons

15 years ago, during a conference of scientists against space weapons in Göttingen, Germany in July 1984, a lawyer, two mathematicians and a physicist presented a draft "Treaty on the Limitation of the Military Use of Outer Space".1 This document outlines a legal approach to ban anti-satellite weapons and space-based weapons as well as space-based systems for direct guidance of nuclear weapons. According to the proposal, the State Parties undertake „ not to destroy, damage, disturb the normal functioning or change the flight trajectory of space objects of other states" (Art.1) and „not to develop and test or to deploy in outer space, in the atmosphere or on the earth any weapons or weapon systems which serve this purpose." (Art.2) Art.6 and 7 commit „not to resort to the use of space-based weapons against targets in outer space, in the atmosphere or on the earth" and „not to develop and test or to deploy in outer space any weapons to this end." The proposal was discussed in the German Parliament, receiving only a few votes less than needed to become an official arms control proposal of the FRG.

  1. H. Fischer, R. Labusch, E. Maus, J. Scheffran, Treaty on the Limitation of the Military Use of Outer Space, English reprint in: J. Holdren, J. Rotblat (eds.), Strategic Defences and the Future of the Arms Race, A Pugwash Symposium, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987.

In case of interest contact J. Scheffran.


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