What is Metalaw?

According to Dr. Ernst Fasan, Metalaw is “the entire sum of legal rules regulating relationships between different races in the universe.” Metalaw is the “first and basic ‘law’ between races” providing the ground rules for a relationship if and when we establish communication with or encounter another intelligent race in the universe. Dr. Fasan envisioned these rules as governing both human conduct and that of extraterrestrial races so as to avoid mutually harmful activities.

Foundational Texts Regarding Metalaw

Andrew G. Haley, Space law and Metalaw – A Synoptic View, Harvard Law Record 23 (November 8, 1956)

[N.B.: this article is frequently mis-cited as being published in the Harvard Law Review, and academic legal journal] [This article was also re-published as an addendum to the Proceedings of the Fourth Colloquium  on the Law of Outer Space held in 1961 and published by the International Institute of Space Law of the International Astronautical Federation in 1963-- this is probably easier to locate in libraries than the Harvard Law Record, which was the student newspaper of the Harvard Law School]

Andrew G. Haley, Metalaw Chapter from Space Law and GovernmentAppleton Century Crofts, New York, 1963  [online link to entire book text!]

Ernst Fasan, Relations with Alien Intelligences:  The Scientific Basis of Metalaw, Berlin Verlag, Berlin, 1970 [out of print and extremely hard to find; use the link to find a library copy near you]

Ernst Fasan, Discovery of ETI:  Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Legal Implications, Acta Astronautica 21 (2) (1990) 131-135

Ernst Fasan, Legal Consequences of a SETI Detection, Acta Astronautica 42 (10-12) (1998) 677-679