Law, College of


Date of this Version



Published in Meeting international responsibilities and adresssing domestic needs: PROCEEDINGS UNITED NATIONS, Vienna, 2006. Copyright 2006 Frans von der Dunk. The paper was originally presented November 22, 2005, at United Nations/Nigeria Workshop on Space Law.


Whilst national space laws currently are a 'hot' topic in general discussions on space law and policy, and rightly so, one should never lose sight that 'national space law' is not something self-evident or nature-given. In each case there is a general need to justify any efforts and resources inevitably required for establishment to start with, then continuing adaptation and implementation, of a national space law. From that perspective, the present paper tries to answer three questions that are of paramount importance. Firstly, why do we need or want national space laws in the first place? Secondly, the question follows as to what should be in such national space laws: what issues and topics should be addressed? And thirdly, would there be any role in respect of national space laws for international bodies, a topic particularly relevant in Europe in view of the existence of two relevant international European bodies, the European Union (EU) and the European Space Agency (ESA)?