The 2023 Lachs Moot Court Competition case has been published, Argyliam v. Koligian.
This case concerns the use of lasers and other anti-satellite weapons in outer space. The case illustrates how the positioning of laser systems (The Palver) in orbit around the Earth by a State (Argyliam), combined with the provision of inaccurate data on their use, can potentially complicate international relations.
While attempting to disrupt the spying capability of a third party’s satellite, Argyliam’s Palver-3 laser system accidentally destroyed a Koligian satellite. Separately, Palver-2 suffered an unexplained loss of control and its erratic movement brought it towards an area traversed by a plethora of orbiting satellites, including five registered to Koligian. Palver-2’s laser system was still in an active state, which prompted Koligan to preemptively use an anti-satellite weapon to destroy Palver-2.
As it was not possible for Argyliam and Koligian to resolve their dispute through amicable means, the case is brought before the International Court of Justice. The claims of the Parties refer to the lawfulness of their respective activities in outer space, under space law and international law, as well as to liability issues for damages each sustained.
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