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.

In-Depth Treatments of Metalaw

Robert A. Freitas Jr., Xenology: An Introduction to the Scientific Study of Extraterrestrial Life, Intelligence, and Civilization, First Edition, Xenology Research Institute, Sacramento, CA, 1979; http://www.xenology.info/Xeno.htm


R.A. Freitas, Metalaw and Interstellar Relations, Mercury 6 (1977) 15-17 (March-April)


Adam Chase Korbitz, The Limits of Metalaw and the Need for Further Elaboration, Paper IAC-10-A4.2.10, presented at the 39th Symposium on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, 61st International Astronautical Congress, 2010, Prague, Czech Republic



G.S. Robinson, Ecological Foundations of Haley's Metalaw, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society 22 (1969) 266-274

G.S. Robinson, “Metalaw” – prolegomena to quantification of jus naturale, The George Washington Law Review 40 (1971-1972) 709-725


G.S. Robinson, H.M. White, Jr., Envoys of Mankind, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1986

P.M. Sterns, Metalaw and Relations with Intelligent Beings Revisited, Space Policy 20 (2004) 123-130


P.M. Sterns, SETI and Space Law: Jurisprudential and Philosophical Considerations for Humankind in Relation to Extraterrestrial Life, Acta Astronautica 46 (10-12) (2000) 759-763