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Metalaw and SETI

Origin of the Term "Metalaw"

6 Nov 2010, 03:44 UTC
Origin of the Term "Metalaw"
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I haven't spent a great deal of time researching the origin and etymology of the word Metalaw beyond the work of Andrew Haley. I am still under the impression that it originated with Haley, who we know gave the word its current reference to legal principles of universal applicability to all intelligences, terrestrial and extraterrestrial, in his 1956 paper, "Space Law and Metalaw -- A Synoptic View."While the term and the concept it represents are both today rather obscure (a deficiency I hope to cure), the term did enter the popular parlance of the day rather quickly in the 1950s, only to fade gradually into the fog of history. I recently came across this post from Opinio Juris, a blog about international law and international relations. The post's author, Professor Kenneth Anderson (of the American University Washington College of Law), quotes a passage from Have Space Suit -- Will Travel, a 1958 story by the great science fiction author Robert Heinlein and published two years after Haley's paper:“Russell, I heard on your tape that you plan to study engineering - with a view to space.”“Yes, sir. I mean, ‘Yes, Mr. Secretary’.”“Have you considered studying law? Many young engineers want to ...

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