The use of drones

Civil law and civil procedure / Liability

The use of drones

An exploratory study on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) (full text only available in Dutch)


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), often referred to as drones, have become easy and inexpensive to buy, and it is generally expected that the use of drones by private individuals, businesses and public authorities will increase tremendously in the coming years. This raises questions as to what is technologically feasible, legally permissible, and socially desirable. The main research question is: what are the anticipated possibilities and threats associated with the use of drones, to what extent does the current legal framework offer room for these possibilities and measures to counter these threats, and to the extent that this room does not exist, what are the contours of legislation that would provide this room? To answer this question, six sub-questions were formulated:

  1. What types of drones exist and what is technologically feasible?
  2. What are the opportunities and threats associated with the use of drones? In particular, what are the opportunities and threats associated with the use of drones with regard to national security and criminality?
  3. What is the existing legal framework in the Netherlands for the use of drones by the government (for civil, non-military purposes) and by private individuals, and what are the issues encountered here?
  4. What are the possible (negative) effects of the use of drones with regard to privacy and in what way can privacy be most effectively safeguarded?
  5. What legislation do surrounding countries have with regard to the use of drones?
  6. What are the contours of future legislation to prepare society for the use of drones?

Publication data

Custers, B.H.M., Oerlemans, J.J., Vergouw, S.J.
Place of publication:
The Hague
Boom Lemma
Year of publication:
Onderzoek en beleid 313

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