This answer notes that participant nations have jurisdiction over their modules. So in a US module, you are in US jurisdiction, etc.

Which means that in an European module, you are in European jurisdiction. But Europe isn't a nation with one jurisdiction, but an union of sovereign states with their own jurisdiction and bound by treaties. Even more confusing, the ESA and the EU are not the same, some nations are part of one but not the other.

In a comment, the author adds from a linked resource that: "The European States are being treated as one homogenous entity, called the European Partner on the Space Station. But any of the European States may extend their respective national laws and regulations to the European elements, equipment and personnel." Which is, as the author says, "almost more confusing".

So how the hell does that work? To use the same example of this question, what would happen to someone being born in an European module? What if a crime was committed? What if someone took residence there? (Those are mostly hypothetical examples, to illustrate how jurisdiction works in this case.)

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    $\begingroup$ I would guess that it works like this: "We have no idea how this works, but it's probably never going to come up, and when it does, we'll figure something out." Just a wild guess, though. $\endgroup$ Apr 24, 2019 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ "what would happen to someone being born in an European module?" Are you asking about a newborn child being delivered on the ISS? That isn't going to happen. $\endgroup$ Apr 24, 2019 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble Not any time soon, but it is likely to be something we have to work out in the various legal systems eventually. It's an interesting legal question. $\endgroup$
    – ceejayoz
    Apr 24, 2019 at 23:33
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble: Maybe the Russians would send up a pregnant space tourist, if the price is right. $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Apr 25, 2019 at 2:45
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    $\begingroup$ This is even more complicated with respect to the UK: The Uk is a member of the ESA, but doesn't actually have a concept of national laws. All laws are passed in one of the three juristictions of England & Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, with independent copies of most laws being passed simultaneously in all three nations. $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2021 at 1:30


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