nl en

International Space Law and Policy


Admission requirements

Admission to the full time and parttime Blended Learning advanced LL.M. programme in Air and Space Law.


The course aims to provide students with knowledge of the field of international space law and policy and to explain its main principles, focusing on the UN space treaties, sets of principles and other international legal instruments, as well as the institutions involved. It will present the international law‐making process and its international actors, such as the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Alongside the space treaties, the course will also focus on the military uses of space, environmental aspects of space activities and telecommunication law and will examine current challenges and activities, as well as the ability of existing international legal instruments to address them.

Through several case studies specific topics will be studied in depth and from various angles, mainly legal and political, but also economic and technical, with the goal of providing an in-depth understanding of complex topics through interactive activities. Case studies may be conducted in various formats, such as group assignments, workshops, excursions and model activities. Active participation by the students and the multidisciplinary approach provided by the guest lectures are key features of these activities.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the international legal instruments and actors governing space activities at the international level;

  • Summarize the most important international space law principles;

  • Explain current international space law issues and efforts to adress them;

  • Apply the relevant international space laws and policies; and

  • Solve practical case studies related to international space law and policy.


Students can view the timetable in uSis. Participation in the online classes is optional for Blended Leaners.

Mode of Instruction

This course has been divided into several different modules, each of which covers a specific theme. Each module provides students with theoretical knowledge through assigned reading materials and multimedia knowledge clips. Students are responsible for coming to classes prepared, which in turn provides for elevated levels of discussion in classroom sessions.

The lecturers make extensive use of interactive teaching, thus encouraging the students to test their comprehension of the subject matter and to exercise their techniques for effective verbal communication. The level of interaction is high, and students are encouraged to reflect critically on the issues presented. Guest lecturers and expert practitioners are invited to highlight topical and emerging topics and themes from various perspectives.

Attendance at all lectures and on excursions is mandatory; any absence must be reported to the Programme Coordinator and the lecturer.

Assessment method

This course is assessed by means of:

  • An Exam (80%); and

  • A written assignment (20%).

Blended learning students will work on four assignments and one final paper to be submitted via Brightspace.

The course is successfully passed if a weighted average grade for the course is obtained of 6.0 or higher. Only one retake may be granted to a student per course.

No retake will be granted to a student who has obtained a weighted average grade for the course of 6.0 or higher, cf Article 12.2 Course and Examination Regulations. No retake will be allowed if a student has not taken the scheduled exam, or any other scheduled form of assessment, and handed in written proof of a conscientious effort to meet the deadline. This is without prejudice to justified reasons of health, family or any other force majeure that could prevent the student from attending class or from participating in the assessment, cf. Article 12.3.

If a student fails an assessment component that is part of an activity that cannot be retaken, the form of the retake will be up to the discretion of the relevant lecturer, cf. Article 12.1.

The grade obtained in the retake assessment will replace the grade of the failed assessment and will be included in the weighting of the grade for the course.

Reading list

Introduction to Space Law, T. Masson-Zwaan and M. Hofmann, Kluwer 2019 and handouts.


Students will be registered automatically for the course in uSis and Brightspace.


International Institute of Air and Space Law (IIASL)
Law School, Leiden University
Steenschuur 25, 2311 ES Leiden, Netherlands
Postal address: P.O. Box 9520, 2300 RA Leiden, Netherlands
Phone : +31 71 527 8081


Currently these pages are being updated to reflect the courses for 2023 - 2024. Until these pages are fixed as per 1 September 2023 no rights can be claimed from the information which is currently contained within. Should there be any future extenuating circumstances which may impinge our teaching and assessment, these could necessitate modification of the course descriptions after 1 September. This will only happen in the event of strict necessity and the interests of the students will be taken into account. Should there be a need for any change during the course, this will be informed to all students on a timely basis. Modifications after 1 September 2023 may only be done with the approval and consent of the Faculty Board and Programme Director.