nl en

Aerospace Law


Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of International Law and a sufficient command of English.


The Aerospace Law course offers an introduction into public air law, private air law and space law, from both an international and European perspective. The public air law lectures deal with the governance of international civil aviation, including the economic regulation of air services, through multilateral and bilateral aviation agreements. You will study the Chicago Convention of 1944, and the responsibilities of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for promoting safety, security and the protection of the environment. Within the context of private air law, airline liability and passenger rights will be addressed. The space law lectures will introduce the main legal instruments in the field of space law. The course covers the legal aspects of various space activities, such as human space flight, the use of small satellites and space debris.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

  • To provide an overview of the main legal instruments and issues in the fields of public air law, private air law and space law;

  • To explain how international civil aviation is regulated;

  • To learn how to apply the key principles of airline liability;

  • To study legal issues in relation to space activities and the use of outer space.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

  • understand basic principles in the field of air and space law;

  • discuss the international legal framework of air and space law;

  • apply the principle international legal instruments in air and space law;

  • Recognize and address legal issues pertaining to air law and space law.


Check MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: One 2-hour class per week for 10-12 weeks

  • Names of lecturers: Prof. S.J. Truxal, Mrs. Drs. T.L. Masson-Zwaan, Ms. D. Stefoudi, Ms. J. Choi

  • Guest Lecturers: Mr. G. de Vos (AKD), Ms. A. Schuite (Dutch Accident & Safety Board)

  • Required preparation by students: Reading designated chapters from the Reader Aerospace Law

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Open book exam with open questions.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures and all other instructions which are part of the course.

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. and further of the Course and Examination Regulations). Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. To retake a passed exam, students need to ask the Student Administration Office (OIC) for permission. For more information, go to 'course and exam enrollment' > 'permission for retaking a passed exam' on the student website.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials


  • Reader Aerospace Law

  • Incidental additional handout

Recommended course materials

  • P.M.J. Mendes de Leon, An Introduction to Air Law (Kluwer)

  • T. Masson-Zwaan & M. Hofmann, Introduction to Space Law (Kluwer 4th ed., 2019)


Check the website under “course and exam enrollment” for information on how to register for the course.

Exchange students have priority and will be registered for the course first. Any remaining seats will be available for students from Leiden University and other Dutch Universities.

Contact information

  • Coordinator: Ms. Jin Choi

  • Work address: KOG, Room C1.03

  • Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 6444

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: Institute of Air & Space Law

  • Telephone number secretary: +31 (0)71 527 8518

  • Email:


Graduated professionals may attend this course as a Study Abroad student or as Contract student and apply via JPAO.

In case of (corona)restrictions imposed by the government, this course description is subject to change.