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Symposium: Space Law – To Infinity and Beyond?

11-06-2018 at 20:00 - 22:00

Space Law: To Infinity and Beyond?

As technology advances, outer space has increasingly come within our reach. More and more national governments, international organisations and private individuals are now trying to ‘claim’ their part of the universe. So it seems clear that, if we want to prevent total chaos, we need laws to regulate conduct in space. But who decides what humanity can or cannot do beyond earth? Can anyone just travel through outer space, colonise Mars or build a hotel on the Moon? If not, then how are these rules upheld?

In this symposium, two experts will talk about the functioning of space law and the (il)legalities of human activity in space.

Frans von der Dunk is a Harvey & Susan Perlman Alumni/Othmer Professor of Space Law at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. As one of the world’s leading space lawyers, he has advised the Dutch government, the European Commission and the UN (among others) on space policy, national space law and cooperation in space. He is the Director Public Relations of the International Institute of Space Law, board member of the European Centre for Space Law, and Dutch member of the International Law Association’s Committee on Space Law. Von der Dunk also is the owner of Black Holes BV, a consultancy company for space law and policy.

Dimitra Stefoudi works as a researcher at the International Institute of Air and Space Law at Leiden University. Her current research examines the legal and policy aspects of space big data. Stefoudi is a member of various groups that promote the advancement of space law, including the The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group, which aims to stimulate international negotiations for the governance of space resources.

Von der Dunk and Stefoudi will explain the most important principles of space law, including the freedom of exploration, non-appropriation of celestial bodies, the peaceful use of outer space, non-harmful interference, the common heritage of mankind, and the sustainable use of space.

In this light, they will also discuss recent initiatives for human settlement in outer space: smaller-scale or commercial projects, such as Mars One and SpaceX plans, as well as bigger concepts like the Moon Village envisioned by the European Space Agency. What challenges do these new projects pose to space law? Visit this symposium to learn all about it!

This event will take place in De Bovenkamer van Groningen (Noorderbinnensingel 14). It is free and open to everyone.


20:00 - 22:00


De Bovenkamer van Groningen
Noorderbinnensingel 14
Groningen, Netherlands
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