Expert Legal Reality Check

In News by Mars Register

LATEST NEWS: Key findings from Professor von der Dunk’s LEGAL REALITY CHECK  (and the follow up Q-and-A emails) on the Mars Land Claim:

  • Our activities w.r.t Mars are legal (within international law and UK law).
  • Those activities can reasonably be argued to represent Factual Possession of land on Mars.
  • Currently, as the law stands now, we are unable to convert that factual possession into titled ownership.
  • If Space Law were to evolve (as we are sure it will) towards a toleration of celestial land-property rights, our claim should rightly be first-in-line for consideration.
  • Our strategy could be morally, ethically and politically appealing to state delegations at the UN (COPUOS), such that we might successfully lobby for changes to the law in our favour.

This all means the current co-claimants (>180,000) will probably not gain ownership of land on Mars, but their family descendants should do.

So this independent expert legal opinion does give our claim real legitimacy. It represents a fantastic starting point (we tell our US members that we’ve hit 1st base) for Mars Register Ltd and its members ( … this is a real foothold on Mars that has genuine legal relevance for the future. The claim is to be strengthened through increased membership (>5 million), UN lobbying, and ‘Space Studies’ scholarships (via ESA. NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, CNSA and ISU) for worthy candidates from within The Martians’ families (creating future astronauts and space engineers from within the membership).

We have always been thankful for generous advice and criticism from some of the worlds elite scholars in this subject (International Law applied to Space). Most particularly we have enjoyed constructive criticism from Professor Philip de Man and briefly, Professor Fabio Tronchetti.

In late 2020, having just come through UK High Court and Court of Appeal encounters with UK Government (we were attempting to compel the UK Gov to present the problem of our communal Mars claim to COPUOS (Committee for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at the UN in Vienna), we decided to seek further in-depth expert analysis of our claim/proposal.

We again approached a small number of elite scholars … Professor Frans von der Dunk was sufficiently interested and generous to suggest a contract with Dr Phil Davies, Founder & Director of Mars Register and ‘The Martians’ (via his consulting agency, Black Holes BV).

In December 2020 Prof. von der Dunk produced a very helpful preliminary report, together with a follow-up Q and A by email. He made it very clear that our strategy needed more structure and a clear separation of our position within current applicable law (lex lata) from the opportunities to prepare for (or even shape) the future law (lex ferenda). He also convinced us (finally!) that despite the moral, ethical and political value of an equitably distributed pan-multinational communal claim (co-claimants representing all 195 nations in ‘equitable’ numbers), it was still legally barred by the non-appropriation principle … such a claim still brought national appropriation into the frame. We now accept that.

So, we have diligently revised, redacted and updated much of our website material as well as our business-legal strategy documents.

After that, in May 2021 Professor von der Dunk revisited our claim/proposal … primarily looking at the rudimentary-but-all-new ‘skeleton’ strategy document.

We commissioned the Professor to produce a new Legal Reality Check in the form of a report for publication. He has done just that.

It is an excellent report … it has given us reassurance and new confidence. You will find a link to this report in our Legal Section

He appreciated the moral and political weight within our meta-legal arguments for the advancement of the claim towards title registration and realisation of the full proposal. He then advised on four possible routes to success for our claim, all requiring some degree of legal changes… but not necessarily any need to change the core of space law (sensu stricto), that which comprises the Outer Space Treaty 1967.  This enjoyable series of interactions with Professor von der Dunk has also greatly influenced our newly revised business-legal strategy (with incorporates three discrete opportunities for us to ‘jolt’ the state delegations at COPUOS into cohesive effort to deliver a new ‘top-up’ space treaty.


All the pertinent documents, including the Professor’s Legal Reality Check and our validated revised Strategy Document, are to be found in the updated LEGAL section: CLICK HERE!

So, who is Professor von der Dunk?..
There is nobody more respected and world-renowned in this subject that Professor Frans von der Dunk. He’s a Dutch-trained scholar who is an elite Professor in the USA, long-time director (including public relations) of the International Institute of Space Law (that is the body that NASA and ESA all listen to), author of The Handbook of Space Law and also very recently the keynote speaker for US Space Command’s inaugural Legal Conference. He is generally very supportive of the US Space Act, Artemis Accords … but is very strongly against all those sellers of fake/novelty celestial deeds. He is mainstream but elite and hugely respected…. there is nobody higher in this subject.  He is no wallflower – a very effective communicator who will always deliver an entertaining interview.
This is his legal agency:


We thank the professor for his time, effort, patience and eloquence … the report itself is a fascinating read for anybody with an interest in space exploration/exploitation and world peace.

We still have a bit of website/certificate editing to do over the next week, after which we will again be ready to approach national and international ‘intelligent media’ entities.

Note Also: for your interest (maybe), we are currently awaiting a decision on our claim’s admissibility for consideration at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). We will keep you posted!