The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group

The development of space resource activities is happening now. In the absence of a clear framework to govern these activities, there is a need to examine the concepts that are being discussed in order to ensure that they meet existing treaty obligations regarding on-orbit operations and space resource rights. These concepts need to enable, support and co-ordinate the use of space resources and be acceptable for space-faring nations and other interested states.  

What is the objective of the Working Group?

The Working Group aims to assess the need for a regulatory framework for space resource activities and to prepare the basis for such regulatory framework. Where the need is established, the Working Group will encourage States to engage in negotiations for an international agreement or non-legally binding instrument.

What will the Working Group work on?

  • Identification and formulation of building blocks for the governance of space resource activities as a basis for negotiations on an international agreement or non-legally binding instrument

  • Recommendations on the implementation strategy and forum for negotiations on an international agreement or non-legally binding instrument

During the course of the project, the Working Group will come together for two face-two-face meetings.

The Working Group started its activities in October 2015 and aims to complete them by end 2017.

Who is the Working Group made up of?

The Working Group consists of members as well as observers and it is hosted by a Consortium of organisations from each continent.

The Consortium

The principal Consortium partner is the Institute of Air and Space Law (IIASL), Leiden Law School, Leiden University (the Netherlands) ( The other Consortium partners are: the Catholic University of Santos (UNISANTOS) (Brazil) (, the Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law (CREEL), University of Melbourne (Australia) (, the Indonesian Centre for Air and Space Law (CASL), Padjajaran University (Indonesia) (, the Secure World Foundation (SWF) (USA) (, and the University of Cape Town (UCT) (South Africa) ( 

Members and Observers

The Working Group members are stakeholders of space resource activities and represent consortium partners, industry, States, international organisations, academia and NGOs. The number of members in the Working Group is limited to twenty but there is no limit on the number of observers.

1) Members
Members are major stakeholders from government, industry, universities and research centres. Members form the operative body of the Working Group. They are responsible for making the decisions and they are the only participants from whom responses are expected. Members are invited to attend all teleconferences and meetings of the Working Group. The number of members to the Working Group is limited to approximately twenty.

2) Observers
Observers are professionals directly involved in space resources issues. Observers are invited to attend face-to-face meetings, but not teleconferences. They may speak at face-to-face meetings upon invitation by the chair. The number of observers able to attend meetings may be restricted depending on the capacity of the venue. They have the option of providing input, which is taken into account at the discretion of the members. Observers receive all final documentation distributed within the Working Group. There is no restriction on the overall number of observers to the Working Group, however the number of observers per organisation is limited to one. A formal application via email to the Secretariat is required in order to become an observer.

3) External persons who are only informed of the progress of the Working Group
Persons who are not involved in the Working Group and who are not directly involved in space resources issues, but whose work is closely linked to the subject matter of the project, may be included in the correspondence of the Working Group in order to keep them informed. These persons may provide input to the Working Group on an informal basis, however there is no obligation for the Working Group to take it into account. Persons in this category are not allowed to attend meetings, either face-to-face or otherwise. Inclusion on this list is upon request via email to the Secretariat.

Where can I find more information?

For further information, please contact us at

Associated organisatons

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague
Secure World Foundation (SWF), Broomfield CO
Catholic University of Santos, São Paulo
Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law (CREEL), The University of Melbourne
Indonesian Institute of Air and Space Law, Padjajaran University, Bandung
International Institute of Air and Space Law (IIASL), Leiden University
University of Cape Town
Birkbeck College, London
Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC), Washington DC
Deep Space Industries (DSI), Moffett Field CA
French Space Agency (CNES), Paris
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Paris
Institute of Space Law, Beijing Institute of Technology
International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Geneva
ispace technologies, Inc., Tokyo
Mexican Space Agency (AEM), Mexico City
Ministry of the Economy, Luxembourg
Moon Express, Cape Canaveral FL
National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA), Abuja
Office of the Chief State Law Advisor, Pretoria
Planetary Resources, Washington DC
Shackleton Energy Company, Del Valle TX
UAE Space Agency, Abu Dhabi
University La Sapienza, Rome 

Consortium Partners




Last Modified: 29-04-2016