That’s right. Since 2007, Black Holes is the answer to your governance and business challenges under space law.
This company provides professional advice and tailor-made modules, connecting the legal parameters and ramifications in a no-nonsense manner to the broader aspects of any space activity or application.
Find out how Black Holes can boost your professional activities.
Whether you need specific advice on legal issues, or a workshop for your entire department, your project deserves its own tailored service.
Black Holes offers a variety of services for any space activity or application:
researching, analyzing and evaluating the legal, regulatory, policy and political framework
conducting legal reality checks and presenting results by way of reports and presentations
providing advice and recommendations on future actions
developing, offering and monitoring tailor-made modules and self-study programmes for professionals
organizing meetings, workshops and addressing audiences on legal, regulatory, policy and political aspects
Black Holes can rely on extensive project experience, varying from limited assignments to the legal work in multimillion-euro research projects. Clients have included governments, space agencies, international organizations (both intergovernmental and non-governmental) and private companies.
For reasons of confidentiality, in many cases the details of projects and project results cannot be shared. In such cases, you may contact Black Holes for more information.
To get an impression of past projects, select your category of interest below. Use ctrl-F or cmd-F to search in each category.
International governance & cooperation
National & regional space law & policy
Space applications & science
The moon & other celestial bodies
Space & security
Theory of law & ethics
Prof. dr. Frans von der Dunk started his career as co-director at the International Institute of air and space law at Leiden University, where he later became director of space law research. In 2007 he started Black Holes, to accommodate the opportunities he saw emerging in the area of space law. Since 2008 he has been appointed professor of Space Law at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL).
Find out more about Frans by selecting Biography, Publications or Memberships.
From 1990 to 1998 Frans, first as a co-director and later as director, has been responsible for the area of space law at the International Institute of Air and Space Law of the Leiden University’s Faculty of Law. He defended his dissertation on “Private Enterprise and Public Interest in the European ‘Spacescape’ in 1998.
In the years running up to the establishment of Black Holes in 2007, he realized that the academic environment of the Institute was insufficiently equipped to handle many of the increasing and increasingly divergent demands of the ‘outside world’ for non-academic support activities. Hence the establishment of Black Holes as the proper vehicle to pursue such opportunities.
In addition to establishing Black Holes, Frans has been appointed Professor of Space Law at the Law Faculty of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) as of January 1, 2008. In this capacity he is responsible for the space law courses and some capita selecta courses in the context of the new LL.M. programme on Space and telecommunications law that has been offered as of the academic year 2008-2009, as well as for research activities in the field of space law. In the course of 2008, moreover, he was nominated as the Harvey and Susan Perlman Alumni / Othmer Professor of Space Law, to underline the importance UNL attached to the Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law LLM programme. Also, he has acted as the Legal Task Manager in a number of studies undertaken in particular within the context of leading European Commission projects, such as on European space policy, Galileo and GNSS, satellite communications, the Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security (GMES) project and earth observation. Much of his recent work furthermore focused on such topical issues as space tourism, the legal status of the Moon and other celestial bodies and the ‘sale-of-lunar-estate hoax’, and planetary protection.
Both formally and informally, he has served as adviser to the Dutch Government, several foreign Governments, the European Commission, the European Space Agency (ESA), the United Nations (UN), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Dutch National Aerospace Agency (NIVR), the Japanese Space Exploration Agency (JAXA), the German Space Agency (DLR), the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), as well as a number of companies, and was member of the Advisory Group to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the drafting of Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes relating to Outer Space. Such advisory work dealt with a broad area of issues related to space activities, such as space policy, international cooperation in space, national space law, privatization of space activities, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) (in particular Galileo), satellite communications, radio astronomy, and earth observation.
As of 2006, Frans is series editor for the “Studies in Space Law” published with Brill, containing thorough studies of current legal issues in space activities and major space applications. Visit the website of Brill.
Frans is a member of the following professional bodies:
American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA)
International Law Association (ILA), The Hague
Board of Directors, International Institute of Space Law (IISL), Paris
Board, European Centre of Space Law (ECSL), Paris
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Washington
Centro de Investigacion y Difusion Aeronautico-Espacial (CIDA-E), Montevideo
International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), Paris
International Policy Advisory Committee (IPAC) of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)
He received the following honors and awards:
Honourable Mention, Space Essay Contest, World Bar Association, Englewood (Colorado), May 1995
Distinguished Service Award of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Vancouver, October 2004
Honorary Professor, Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar (since 2004)
Social Science Award of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), Valencia, October 2006
Social Science Book Award of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), Jerusalem, October 2015
Frans has given multiple interviews and has spoken on numerous smaller and larger events. These videos show his passion as well as his expertise. Select Audio for radio interviews and Articles for a selection of news articles about space law.