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PhD defence

Widening the horizons of outer space law

  • T.L. Masson-Zwaan
Thursday 9 February 2023
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden

Widening the Horizons of Outer Space Law

The character of the use and exploration of outer space has changed dramatically since the first artificial satellite was launched in 1957. The question this research addresses is whether the existing international legal framework for space activities adequately regulates current and future challenges and opportunities of the use, exploration and exploitation of outer space, and if not, how this can be remedied. It answers these questions in a series of published articles.

Although the legal framework that was adopted by States since the 1960s is of immense value and must be preserved, the rapid pace at which technology advances and the increase and variety of actors in this field imply that it cannot address all challenges and opportunities in a sustainable, safe and secure manner.

The existing legal framework must be clarified and supplemented, and the adoption of soft law, guidelines, resolutions at international and regional level, as well as the reinforcement of national frameworks and industry best practices seems the most pragmatic way forward.

Outer space is an international realm and in formulating future space law it is essential to strive for a set of common rules of behaviour, including the views and needs of all stakeholders.


  • Prof.dr. P.M.J. Mendes de Leon

PhD dissertations

Approximately one week after the defence, PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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