Law, College of


Date of this Version



Published (as chapter 3) in Earth Observation Data Policy and Europe, edited by Ray Harris (Lisse: A. A. Balkema, 2002), pp. 19–28. Copyright © 2002 Swets & Zeitlinger B.V. (Division of Taylor & Francis). Used by permission.


The activities of Earth observation and further policy initiatives to deal with the data produced thereby raise fundamental questions as to how to use “law” as a policy tool, to stimulate them and/or curb their perceived negative effects. The crucial involvement of “outer space” in Earth observation causes special legal parameters to arise in this respect. Europe is one of the major players in this area, with various important international organizations involved in addition to a number of space powers, which makes it interesting in particular to deal with the situation in this part of the world. This chapter provides an overview of the major legal parameters which, in the European context, would be conducive or, on the contrary, obstructive for the generally desired gradual and balanced establishment of a market for Earth observation data.