Space laws take, according to the States, the form of laws, i.e. texts voted by the national parliaments or of scattered legislative or regulatory texts. Space laws may themselves have as their sole object the regulation of space activities or concern a whole range of activities, including space activities. It is recalled that a law has in principle a higher legal value than a regulatory text. On the other hand, the regulatory texts, in particular those that set out the technical regulations, are adopted for the execution of space laws.
States that have enacted national space legislations have taken highly divergent approaches: - Some countries only have a national space law, others have several laws or a number of regulations under the law, - States have defined their legal/regulatory framework according to the state of national space industry, actual commercial space activities, or national governance, - The governance and namely the allocation of responsibilities between the different competent governmental bodies is country-specific (Cabinet Office, a ministry, an agency or even several agencies).
A consequence of this variety of legal regimes, Space laws and regulations become levers that can impact the attractiveness to space players of a given country.