Do Earth laws apply to Mars colonists?
October 15, 2016 11:17 PM   Subscribe

 
That's crap. Mars is wild! Untamed! I'm forming a cadre of Martian Knights, charged with enforcing Martian Law. Now who's ready to beat some ass?
posted by 3urypteris at 11:47 PM on October 15, 2016 [10 favorites]


the moon and antarctica[*]
posted by kliuless at 12:00 AM on October 16, 2016


Alt-F "Cannibalism" : 0 results.

Meh.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:22 AM on October 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


The phrase "reality is what you can get away with" comes to mind.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:56 AM on October 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Come on now, we all know that the Martian Constitution was mainly written thanks to the efforts of Nadia Chernyshevski and Art Randolph. But they will talk you it was all Maya and Frank. Bah!
posted by matrixgeek at 2:17 AM on October 16, 2016 [16 favorites]


Presumably, Delos D. Harriman can tell us who owns the moon.
posted by oheso at 2:25 AM on October 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


No reference to maritime law and "international waters" yet?

Come on, people, step it up, or we're never going to be space pirates.
posted by kyrademon at 3:18 AM on October 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hey, we're working on it - this would be a lot easier if they would've just put some gold fringe around the Apollo flags on those sound stages.
posted by sysinfo at 4:34 AM on October 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


When in the course of Martian events...
posted by Thorzdad at 4:42 AM on October 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Spacecraft with people in them, or galactic conquest by Toxoplasmosis? All part of the same plan.
posted by scruss at 5:39 AM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


One of my favorite colleagues in the legal academy wrote a delightful piece as a law student about the first wave of mania for space law and its disconnection from reality.

"In seeking to make sense of the extraordinary outpouring of legal commentary on outer space in the late 1950s and early 1960s, this Note interprets early space law as a means by which the legal profession sought to assert its continued vitality in an age of science and technocracy. Part II shows how the overriding positivism and technological spectaculars of the Space Age were perceived to threaten the prestige of legal practice and the utility of legal knowledge. The image of outer space itself—as a “legal vacuum,” as the scientized, utopian future of humanity—posed a radical challenge to law’s claims to universality. The result was the law’s own, professional “Sputnik Crisis.” Part III evaluates the legal estate’s efforts to coopt what threatened it." Barton Beebe, Note:
Law’s Empire and the Final Frontier: Legalizing the Future in the Early Corpus Juris Spatialis
, 108 Yale L.J. 1377 (1999).
posted by grimmelm at 6:22 AM on October 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


Space is transparent. Just look (well grab a really good telescope). If a billionaire could get to an asteroid she could do pretty much whatever she wanted to do there. At this point who's going to show up with cuffs?

But the first wave of extraterrestrial settlers will be very smart, generally very good folks. They will take along with them the best parts of common law. But the great grandchildren of whoever gets there first will have pretty solid squatters rights.
posted by sammyo at 6:28 AM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


While the rest of us mere mortals will be left to watch in wonder, the transformation of outer space into a playground for the uber-rich ultimately should generate even more career niches for space lawyers, experts say.


...sigh...need moar spacepirates
posted by sammyo at 6:31 AM on October 16, 2016


The theme for space law, once the billionaire oligarchs get up there will be: Well that escalated quickly!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:38 AM on October 16, 2016


Spacecraft with people in them, or galactic conquest by Toxoplasmosis?

This summons up the alarming suggestion that toxoplasmosis's game is to get those colonists eaten by some sort of hungry alien, while the surviving colonists will have to live off those alien's droppings, at least in part. This is the sort of future space boosters are pointing us toward....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:25 AM on October 16, 2016


My own previously.
posted by adept256 at 7:41 AM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Laws are rules to (hopefully) protect people from harm. If humans are to live on Mars, more and different rules will be needed.
posted by Splunge at 8:00 AM on October 16, 2016


I'm fine hanging around down here, using a vpn to watch Space Law and Order on Martian Netflix.
posted by kittensofthenight at 9:51 AM on October 16, 2016


Eponyppropriate.
posted by biogeo at 9:51 AM on October 16, 2016


more and different rules will be needed

Extra credit physics question: calculate the necessary height increase of a gallows in Martian gravity.
posted by XMLicious at 10:12 AM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


That's what airlocks are for, XMLicious.
posted by stevis23 at 2:42 PM on October 16, 2016


Calling 911?

About 13 minutes for the call to make it to earth and then about 150-300 days for them to arrive.
posted by srboisvert at 2:58 PM on October 16, 2016


> Alt-F "Cannibalism" : 0 results.

Direct injestion of human material for the amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, and trace elements (and don't forget, all the cofactors and vital amines!) is distasteful to most. Deep seated species level instinct for infectious disease avoidance/control.

In a space/Mars environment, you need to close-loop the CHON cycle as much as possible, which is a handful of leaps closer to cannibalism than 'closed cycle cannibalism' currently on Earth.

Until you have sufficient energy to drive a (probably) photosynthetic CHON system that exceeds the losses from 2nd law. Preferably much in excess of that, so you can make tastier comestibles.

If I was an early colonist on, say, a Mars colonization mission I'd will the most palatable parts of my body to be eaten as a treat to any who wanted to. The rest would be rendered with best practices to recycle my biomass into the colony.

This is all moot if guinea pigs happen to adapt great to Mars gravity and fusion reactors can drive LEDs to feed vast seas of grass on which the guinea pigs feast.

Then ship up cattle genetics and breed low-grav Mars beef. Ship it back to Earth at a premium.

and as a Mars colonist, feast on tender tender marbled Marsbeef that makes Kobe feel like prison beef
posted by porpoise at 7:06 PM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


No, they do not apply. People can claim that they apply all they want, but such claims are almost entirely unable to be enforced. It's equivalent to the Treaty of Tordesillas dividing the New World back in 1494. You can see for yourself how that worked out.
posted by mr_book at 6:23 AM on October 17, 2016


But the great grandchildren of whoever gets there first will have pretty solid squatters rights.

Yes, because native and indigenous peoples have a long-standing history of having their claims upheld by invading armies.
posted by mr_book at 6:26 AM on October 17, 2016


The Principality of Zeon has some thoughts on this subject. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Spacenoid/Earth war is such a staple of a certain era of SF that half the legal battles over space rights have already been fought in fiction and we hopefully won't actually make these same dumb moves in reality (disenfranchising space colonies, etc.)
posted by Queen of Robots at 11:17 AM on October 17, 2016


> Extra credit physics question: calculate the necessary height increase of a gallows in Martian gravity.

That's what airlocks are for, XMLicious.

Then calculate the diameter to which Arnold Schwarzenegger's eyeballs will expand when exposed to the Martian atmosphere.
posted by XMLicious at 2:31 PM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Extra credit physics question: calculate the necessary height increase of a gallows in Martian gravity
Assuming final velocity is the important thing, and neglecting the helmet, something like 2.7.

But, the traditional method of execution on mars involves surgical eyelid removal, an empty room containing only a very sharp knife and a large number of television screens, and a non-stop time-ordered Arnold Schwarzenegger marathon. Hence the common martian prison slang, "Junior," commonly used to refer to a real bad-ass who's likely to make it all the way to day two (1994) before giving up.
posted by eotvos at 3:18 PM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Can't we assume a spherical helmet?
posted by thelonius at 9:47 AM on October 19, 2016


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