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Alumni event | Debat

Cleveringa Meeting Leiden 2021

Thursday 25 November 2021
(or 18:15-21:15 with optional dinner)
Academy Building Leiden & Online
Groot Auditorium / Online

Send us your questions

To submit your questions to professor Beijersbergen or professor Von der Dunk during the meeting, please go to www.menti.com and fill in the following code: 3942 8773.
After that, you can type the questions.

Technical problems?
If you have technical problems with the streaming, please send an email to cleveringa@luf.leidenuniv.nl



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'

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 - Speakers - Programme - Registration - Contact

Freedom, Outer Space, and the Role of the Law

Tycoons 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.

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.

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

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 person

20.00 Start of the debate and online streaming

21.15 End of meeting & online streaming

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

Please do not forget to bring your Corona QR code and your ID. These will be checked at the entrance. We cannot admit you without this information. 

€ 10.– p.p. for student members of LUF (lecture)
€ 12.50 p.p. for other students (lecture )
€ 15.– p.p. for alumni (lecture )
€ 52.– p.p. for alumni (dinner - main course and 2 glasses of wine - lecture)
€ 0.– p.p. for online attendance

After registration, you can transfer the amount due to account number NL13ABNA0 56 61 23 851 in the name of G.V. van Duyneveldt, mentioning Cleveringa meeting.
Your registration is only valid once the participant fee has been received. We regret that no refunds will be given. Partners and non-alumni are also welcome.

Note: Due to COVID-19, the number of seats in the Great Auditorium is limited. 

  • Prof. R.B. (Bas) ter Haar Romeny,  Voorzitter (1986 - SSR)
  • Mrs. H.J. (Hanneke) Wiessing, Secretaris (1984 - Quintus)
  • G.V. van Duyneveldt, Penningmeester (1991 - Augustinus)
  • W.R.J. (Wiltfried) Idema, Commissaris Alumnirelaties  (1980 - Minerva)
  • P.G. (Peter) Nederpel, Commissaris Alumnirelaties (1989 - Horus Fonds, Catena)
  • M.J. (Michael) Juffermans, Commissaris Alumnirelaties (1990 -Quintus)
  • Mrs. O.M.S. (Oekje) van Asten, Commissaris Studentenrelaties (2016- Minerva)

During the Second World War, on 26 November 1940, several professors from Leiden gave protest speeches following the dismissal of their Jewish colleagues. In his protest speech Professor Cleveringa, the dean of the Faculty of Law, explained in precise detail why the measures introduced by the German occupier were in violation of international law.

Professor Van Holk, a professor of theology, also gave a protest speech and devoted his subsequent lecture to the Jewish philosopher Spinoza.

To commemorate these famous protest speeches, the Leiden University Fund, in collaboration with the Cleveringa committees, holds its annual Cleveringa meetings around 26 November (also known as the 26 November Meetings) in which academics from Leiden give lectures all around the world.

Leiden University Fund

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