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School of Law

Hélène le Nobel


PhD Profile



Thesis Title

Regulation of Civil Drone Usage in the European Union (working title).


Dr Saskia Hufnagel and Professor Elspeth Guild

Summary of Research

The expansive increase of recreational and commercial drone usage in the EU has raised the question whether the new common European rules on drones, published on 11 June 2019, fulfil the needs of the EU regarding controlling drone use and what could or should have been arranged differently. In this thesis a theoretical framework will be shaped, in which existing principles of regulation will be applied to civil drone usage. The aim thereof is to examine what the rationales are to regulate drones, how different regulatory instruments, techniques and strategies could be deployed, what kind of standards we need, how drone regulation could be enforced, etc.

This theoretically ‘ideal’ regulation will be compared with existing general laws that are applicable to civil drones, including European privacy and data protection laws, national criminal and liability laws and aviation legislation. The thesis will conclude with a thorough examination of the drone legislation drafted by EASA, to assess whether this is the kind of regulation Europe is in need of.


Hélène holds an LLB and an LLM in Public International Law from Leiden University, as well as an LLM in Criminal Justice from Queen Mary University of London (graduated with Distinction; awarded the Criminal Justice Law Prize). She obtained several years of legal experience within different organisations, amongst others at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna and as a legal counsel for the Dutch government (including the Ministry of Economic Affairs). Hélène is a recipient of the Graduate Teaching Assistantship, a scholarship provided by QMUL's School of Law. For more information, please see: LinkedIn (Hélène le Nobel).

Research and teaching interests

  • Public International Law
  • Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
  • Law and Technology
  • European Law
  • Human Rights.


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