Cleveringa Bijeenkomst 2021

Commercial space flights have prompted new questions. What limits are there to the exploitation of space, both in practical and in legal terms? What is possible and what should we want? These questions are the subject of the 2021 Leiden Cleveringa Meeting entitled:

“Freedom, Outer Space, and the Role of the Law”

with speakers

prof. Marco Beijersbergen and prof. Frans von der Dunk.

Date : Thursday 25 November 2021
Time lecture : 20:00-21:15 (CET) (or 18:15-20:15 with optional dinner)
Live location : Academy Building, Rapenburg 73, Leiden
Online : Broadcast to all our Leiden alumni around the world
Language : English
Registration : Please choose an option below
Option 1 Attending the live event in the Academy Builing, Leiden
Option 2 Online streaming from your computer
Groot Auditorium, Academiegebouw Leiden

Live from the Academy building

The meeting will be held in the Great Auditorium, the place where Professor Cleveringa delivered his impassioned speech, and can also be followed online. After their introductory presentations, Professors Beijersbergen and Von der Dunk will debate the topic among themselves and with guests attending in the Auditorium or online.

As we have international alumni all around the world, the meeting will be held in English.

Summary of the debate

Freedom, Outer Space, and the Role of the LawTycoons such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have recently launched commercial manned spaceflights. However, the world of commercial space missions is much larger. Private companies are now able to bring satellites and other spacecraft with powerful cameras and telecom equipment into space at reasonable prices. The commercial mining of the moon and planets is not far away.
All this prompts questions: what limits are there to the exploitation of space, in practical, moral, and legal terms? What is possible and what should we want? Should the ‘Freedom of Space’ be limited in order to protect other rights and freedoms? These questions will be the subject of this year’s Leiden Cleveringa Meeting.Leiden physicist Prof. Marco Beijersbergen will point out that miniaturisation and new technologies make it possible to bring powerful Earth observation cameras in space that are much smaller and cheaper than before. A constellation of small satellites can be used to observe crop growth, wildfires, draughts, flooding, deforestation, oil spills, atmospheric emissions, migration and transportation at timescales of a few hours. On-board artificial intelligence allows to filter out just what is interesting for practical use. Whereas the high costs of building, launching and operating space infrastructure used to limit the use of such technology to rich countries, the last decade has brought it within the reach of many private organisations. To ensure that the societal benefits of new targeted operational space infrastructure can be realised, and at the same time the privacy and safety of people are safeguarded, requires to think about new agreements regarding the use of space by public and private parties.While ‘space law’, Prof. Frans von der Dunk’s field, is a branch of law very much in development, he will explain that it already does provide for a baseline rule of freedom of activity for States in outer space and a set of fundamental rules and principles limiting that freedom. In particular with respect to private sector activities in outer space, whether it concerns space tourism or satellite remote sensing, this raises a number of issues that Von der Dunk will address in his talk. Most basic: where does outer space actually begin? Beyond that, in particular the role of national space law is of key importance.The two introductory talks will be followed by a debate between Professors Beijersbergen and Von der Dunk, and with guests attending in the Auditorium or online.

The Speakers

Marco Beijersbergen, physicist from Leiden, is founder and managing director of cosine, a company that develops and build measurement systems for many applications, amongst which the largest scientific missions of the European Space Agency and small instruments for nanosatellites for operational use. Acting on the border between fundamental and applied physics, and between public science and commercialisation, he actively helps to strengthen the bond between public science and society, as professor by special appointment in the Physics Department of Leiden University, as chairman of the Advanced Instrumentation roadmap in the Dutch Topsectoren, and as figurehead of the route Measuring and Detecting in the Dutch National Science Agenda.

Leiden alumnus Frans von der Dunk is the Harvey & Susan Perlman Alumni/Othmer Professor of Space Law with the unique Space, Cyber and Telecom Law Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States. In addition, he is the Director of Black Holes, a consultancy in space law and policy, Leiden, The Netherlands, with over a hundred clients, including governments, the EU, space agencies, and many private companies. He has written well over 200 articles and book chapters, the first comprehensive Handbook on Space Law as well as an Advanced Introduction to Space Law. He has been a guest professor at some 25 universities and other academic institutions and has spoken at over 250 conferences and other events throughout the world, including TEDx and PINC. For example: https://youtu.be/nhimQHsTo0s

Student speaker (during dinner, not online): t.b.a.

Programme

18.00 Doors open for our dinner guests

18:15 Dinner in the Faculty Club with presentation by student speaker (optional)19.30 Coffee & tea for all people attending in person20.00 Start of the debate and online streaming21.15 End of online streaming; drinks for all attending in person

Registration:

Date : Thursday 25 November 2021
Time lecture : 20:00-21:15 (CET) (or 18:15-20:15 with optional dinner)
Live location : Academy Building, Rapenburg 73, Leiden
Online : Broadcast to all our Leiden alumni around the world
Language : English
Registration : Please choose an option below
Option 1 Attending the live event in the Academy Builing, Leiden
Option 2 Online streaming from your computer