Frans von der Dunk

Professor of Space Law

Dutch-born Frans von der Dunk is not only Professor of Space Law at the University of Nebraska, but also the founder and director of Black Holes Consultancy in space law and policy in Leiden, The Netherlands. He named his company after the Pink Floyd song ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond.’ When Von der Dunk hears that song and closes his eyes, he gets that special feeling of space. ‘Now there is a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.' Space belongs to nobody, but we need to have rules between different countries. Security issues are very important, but sustainability is also a key issue.

Von der Dunk has served as adviser to the Dutch Government, several foreign governments, the European Commission, the European Space Agency, the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Dutch National Aerospace Agency, the Japanese Space Exploration Agency, the German Space Agency, the Brazilian Space Agency, the Swedish Space Corporation and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, as well as a number of companies, and was member of the Advisory Group to the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the drafting of Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes relating to Outer Space.

Von der Dunk just published a ‘Handbook On Space Law,’ which is meant to provide fundamental guidance to all those interested in studying the legal aspects of mankind’s main activities in outer space. Beside this masterpiece, Von der Dunk also published his own book about 40 years of Dutch soccer.

Von der Dunk was awarded the Distinguished Service Award of the International Institute of Space Law of the International Astronautical Federation in Vancouver, in October 2004, and the Social Science Award of the International Academy of Astronautics in Valencia, in October 2006. He was a signatory, together with various Nobel Prize winners, dozens of astronauts and cosmonauts and other luminaries from the global science and entertainment community, of the ‘Asteroid 100x Declaration’, December 1014.

Professor, Science, Netherlands PINC.17, Sarasota 2015