HL Deb 09 November 1999 vol 606 c137WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in law, they consider outer space to be res nullius, or, in light of Article 1 of the Space Treaty, res communis. [HL4455]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal

Article II of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty precludes national appropriation of outer space by claim of sovereignty. Therefore, outer space cannot beres nullius, which would connote territory capable of appropriation. In the light of the other provisions of the Outer Space Treaty, particularly Article I, the generally accepted view is that outer space is res communis like the high seas.