Law Courses /

International Law of Cyber Operations, May


21-25 May 2018

Registration deadline:

16 Mar 2018



Tallinn, Estonia

Participation fee:

500 € (1 free slot per Sponsoring Nations, Contributing Participants and NATO bodies)

The course provides a practice-oriented survey of the international law applicable to cyber operations involving States.  Students who complete the course will understand the legal framework in which such operations occur during both peace and war and be able to apply the legal principles and rules examined to real-world situations.

This 5-day residential course begins with a half day ‘tech session’ which introduces the technology involved in cyber operations, including internet structure, defensive and offensive tools and techniques, and the feasibility
of and challenges to technical attribution. Additionally, the introductory phase examines the place of cyber operations in the contemporary geopolitical environment.
The 4.5-day core of the course is divided into two blocks of study: 1) the peacetime international law governing cyber operations; and 2) the international humanitarian law that applies during armed conflict involving cyber
operations. Each 1½-day session concludes with a complex exercise that allows participants to apply the law addressed during lectures and discussion. The peacetime law session deals with issues like sovereignty,
jurisdiction, due diligence, the law of state responsibility, the prohibition of intervention and self-defence, all in the cyberspace operations context. It will answer questions such as which cyber operations outside an armed
conflict violate international law, when can states hack back, and when has a cyber armed attack occurred such that states may engage in self-defence. The second 1½-day session covers traditional international humanitarian
law topics, such as classification of cyber conflict, the principle of distinction during cyber operations, and targetable and protected persons and objects in the cyber context. This session is taught from an operational
legal advisor’s perspective, examining all necessary steps in a cyber targeting legal analysis.


The lectures will be given by noted scholars and practitioners, including (subject to availability) the general editor of the Tallinn Manual and director of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 project, Professor Michael Schmitt (United States Naval War College and University of Exeter) and other experts from the Tallinn Manual drafting group.Attendees have a unique opportunity to discuss cyber legal matters with some of the most renowned scholars in the field. Participants will also receive a complimentary copy of the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare.

Target Audience 

  • Military and civilian legal advisors to the armed forces
  • Intelligence community lawyers
  • Other civilian attorneys in governmental security posts
  • Policy specialists who advise on cyber issues and wish to acquire a basic understanding of the applicable legal regimes
  • Legal scholars and graduate students. 



Prior knowledge of relevant international law is recommended, but not a prerequisite. 

Registration info

Registration is closed.