School of Law

Hélène le Nobel

 Hélène le Nobel


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 there is a need for harmonised civil drone regulation, as well as what such regulation should look like. 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. Moreover, a comparison will be made with specific regulatory measures focusing on drones only, such as the establishment of geo-limitations and the introduction of a licensing system. The thesis will conclude by determining to what extent new drone regulation is required and whether it should be established on an EU level or nationally.


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.