Canada looks to prosecute crimes on the Moon

Canada looks to prosecute crimes on the Moon

Canada looks to prosecute crimes on the Moon

Canada looks to prosecute crimes on the Moon

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Canadian MPs will vote on changing the country’s Criminal Code to allow for the prosecution of crimes committed on the Moon On Thursday.

A 443-page budget implementation bill presented to Parliament this week explained the proposed modification to the law, which is expected to be passed.

Ottawa has previously broadened its jurisdiction to include criminal offences committed by Canadian astronauts while aboard the International Space Station.

They are treated the same as crimes committed in Canada.

The update comes as the number of space flights are increasing, and ahead of the first crewed mission to the Moon in more than 50 years set to launch in May 2024, with a Canadian astronaut expected to be on board the Artemis II lunar flyby.

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Under the subheading Lunar Gateway, the Criminal Code amendment reads: “A Canadian crew member who, during a space flight, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would constitute an indictable offence is deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada.”

This would include crimes en route to or on the Lunar Gateway station currently in the works to orbit the Moon, and also “on the surface of the Moon,” the document states.

Foreign astronauts who “threaten the life or security of a Canadian crew member” on a Canadian-supported space mission could also be prosecuted, according to the draft bill.

The Canadian Space Agency is participating in the NASA-led Lunar Gateway project, along with the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Starting in 2026, the outpost will serve as a staging point for robotic and crewed exploration of the lunar surface, as well as travel to Mars.

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