Canada Is Proposing Laws To Charge Crimes That Take Place On The Moon

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In anticipation of an increase in lunar activity in the next several years, Canada is proposing legislation to criminalize crimes undertaken on the Moon. Since NASA ended the Apollo program in 1975, other missions to the Moon have taken precedence over the Moon. Despite the continued use of probes and rovers, public enthusiasm for lunar exploration has waned significantly since the early 1970s.

However, things are about to become a whole lot better very soon. As early as 2025, NASA is aiming to put astronauts on the moon after the launch of NASA’s Artemis mission in 2017. And Artemis isn’t simply going to the Moon for a normal mission. Under the plan, NASA will send the first African-American and female astronaut to the Moon, investigate a greater portion of the Moon’s surface than the Apollo mission did, and establish a permanent human settlement on the Moon. Moon exploration has taken a giant stride ahead, and it is occurring at lightning speed.

Humans arriving to the moon brings with them a slew of new legal challenges. One of the primary goals of NASA’s Apollo mission was to put people on the Moon. It was everything else that followed after. As a result of the lack of urgency in future Moon landings, certain governing organizations have had time to consider how human activities on the Moon might be adjusted. Canada, for example, has proposed laws that would enable the Canadian government to bring criminal charges against persons who commit crimes on the Moon. There is no doubt that we’re talking about crimes committed on the Moon. The Criminal Code of Canada would be amended to include punishment for crimes committed on the Moon. For all intents and purposes, any criminal behavior carried out on or near the Moon is equivalent to an offense committed on Canadian land.

This might be a major shift, but the extent of the transformation should not be underestimated. Canadian astronauts would only be subject to Canada’s Moon criminal rules if they were to go to the Moon, spend time on its surface, then return to Earth. Because of this, astronauts from other nations would not be subject to Canada’s Moon rules, but the legislation might serve as a model for other countries.

Susan Kowal
Susan Kowal is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor/advisor, and health enthusiast.