Satellite Imagery in International Human Rights Litigation

TitleSatellite Imagery in International Human Rights Litigation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsChaturvedi, S
JournalProfessional Ethics Report
PublisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science, Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program
AbstractToday, satellites have made their presence felt in the field of communication, exploration of natural resources, agriculture, meteorology, disaster management, etc. The omnipresence of satellite imaging cannot be ignored. The United Nations has also acknowledged the usefulness of remote sensing by adopting the UN Resolution Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space by consensus in 1986. Yet, the response of the international legal community towards the use of remote sensing data as substantive evidence that establishes an impugned fact beyond reasonable doubt has been tepid. Prima facie, this seems an issue about procedure. But in practice, it presents a serious hurdle when public interest litigators, human rights organizations, and victims turn to law for compensation or even prevention of human rights violations.