Law, College of


Date of this Version



Published in the Proceedings of the 47th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space (2004): 139-145. Copyright 2004, Frans von der Dunk. Used by permission


The need, or at least desirability of establishing a national (framework) law dealing specifically with private space and space-related activities in implementing the United Nations outer space treaties - in particular some Articles of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, the 1972 Liability Convention and the 1975 Registration Convention - is increasingly felt also in Western Europe.

One of the states currently developing such a national framework law is the Netherlands, where in September 2003 the Cabinet gave the green light for such a development. The current paper investigates the background to this decision, such as the European internal market for satellite communications and the active role of New Skies Satellites in that sector, as well as the current approach to what the national space law should specifically deal with: amongst others the licensing of private space activities, the various liabilities which might result from such activities and the registration of space objects involved in the licensed activities.

Finally, a brief comparison will be made with other existing national space laws, existing as well as being developed, specifically as to the extent and manner in which these implement the United Nations outer space treaties referred to.