Difference between revisions of "Lunar Bill of Rights"

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====Rights not Covered====
====Rights not Covered====
All rights not specifically given to other entities belong to the people.
All rights not specifically given to other entities belong to the people of teh Moon.

Revision as of 05:03, 4 April 2007

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A Bill of Rights for Lunar Settlers

All the people who live on the Moon will need a clear statement of their rights as lunar citizens. This is particularly important in view of the many bad visions of space settlement that have so far been presented to the public, for example in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and "Outland".

A Charter

A bill of rights must be a key part of any settlement's charter. The present expectation is that the charter possibilities for the Moon will be based on the current international treaties for Antarctica.

It follows that, like Antarctica, all settlements must be under the auspices of a sovereign country that is a signature to the treaty. The United States will be able to establish a settlement but a company could not. Companies could then operate under the United States charter.

It is therefore reasonable to start with the American Bill of Rights to develop a Lunar Bill of Rights.

Flag of Convenience

It is quite possible that once the research work is well advanced and lunar mining becomes a viable commercial venture, we may see lunar settlements under flags of convenience. Small countries, with no space capability of their own, may serve as cover for international corporations. We could see a lunar settlement under the Panamanian Flag. This is a common practice for ships. The country would receive fees and taxes. The corporation would receive legitimacy, low taxes, and firm control of the operation.

This is another reason we need to establish the Lunar Bill of Rights early.


Following the American Bill of Rights, here are a few suggestions for a Lunar Bill of Rights:

Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Right to petition

Having a right to religion, or no religion, will help insure diversity in the population. The mining operations needs to a 24 hour / 365 day operation. Different people observing different Sabbaths and holidays will complicate work scheduling. In some ways it may help if people cover each others off time needs in a team effort.

Freedom of speech is likely to be mostly about free, bidirectional communication with Earth. If the government or the Company can control this then they can spin problems any way they want. One possibility is to have a Ham radio link back to Earth that is the strict properity of the citizens.

The right to assemble peaceably will certainly include the right to organize a union, although the right to strike may be severely restricted, as it is with government employees.

Right to bear and keep arms

Guns fire in space. If anything the lack of air in the barrel helps the bullet on its way. If they did not, the rockets would not burn either. No phasers or laser rifles are needed. All guns and explosives are extremely dangerous in a space settlement.

That said, this article is about insuring that the people retain enough power to insure that the government or company cannot act with tyranny.

There will certainly be a Chief Security Officer (Sheriff) and many of the people on the Moon will have had military training. This suggests that the concept of well regulated militia from the original article be retained in the version used in several Western states, that of the Sheriff's Posse. The Sheriff would retain all guns and explosive in a locked facility. A number of other workers would voluntarily under go training and serve as first responders in emergencies. They and they alone would be licensed to carry guns and then only under the direct control of the Sheriff.

Unreasonable searches and seizures

If the government or Company owns all the buildings, and the computer equipment, and all the means of productions, what do you own?

It is clear that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their own room no mater who owns the building. They certainly would have an expectation of privacy for electronic files on a device (your Personal) that you carry on your person. The problem will come in areas were you share information and materials with others. These rules need to be very clear.

The owning of property can also be a problem given the extreme high cost of bring anything from Earth. Will transport from Earth define ownership. Will the settlers be entitled to small personal shipments at company expense?

Right to a fair trial

Several of the of the articles deal with a right to a fair trial. We will need to establish rules for jurisdiction in legal maters. Almost certainly this will define the settler's relationship to specific Earth courts. The flag the settlement flies maybe important here.

Rights not Covered

All rights not specifically given to other entities belong to the people of teh Moon.

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