International Law of Cyber Operations

This course provides a practice-oriented survey of the international law applicable to cyber operations involving States that occur both in peacetime and in the context of an armed conflict. The block on peacetime international law answers questions pertaining to the legal criteria for attribution, which cyber operations outside an armed conflict violate international law, and when can states take active defence measures in cyberspace. International Humanitarian Law is taught from an operational legal advisor’s perspective, examining all necessary steps in a cyber targeting legal analysis. The course will also include, as an optional module, a short overview of the technical aspects of Internet structure and of defensive and offensive cyber operations. The course includes also a case study that will provide the Students with the opportunity to analyze a fictional scenario involving relevant aspects of international law applicable to cyber operations. A specific lecture will be dedicated the Alliance’s adaptation process to the new domain of operations.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Due to the COVID-19 situation this course MIGHT be held as an online course and in that case the confirmed students DON’T HAVE TO TRAVEL to Estonia, and in that case they don’t have to buy flight tickets and don’t have to book accommodation in Tallinn. 

If the course will be held online, then all of the technical details to join the course will be shared with the confirmed participants until 10th of May, 2021 and the Administration fee will be reimbursed for the participants.

Outline

The core of the course is divided into two blocks of study:

  • Peacetime international law governing cyber operations
  • International humanitarian law that applies during armed conflict involving cyber operations

The sessions (on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon) conclude 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 session dedicated to jus in bellum – 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, some of them members of the group of authors of the Tallinn Manual 2.0. Participants will also receive a complimentary copy of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations.

Learning Objectives

  • Provide a practice-oriented survey of the international law applicable to cyber operations involving states that occur both in peacetime (Block 1) and armed conflict (Block 2)
  • Block 1 answers 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
  • Block 2 covers traditional international humanitarian law topics, and is taught from an operational legal advisor’s perspective, examining all necessary steps in a cyber targeting legal analysis
  • The course begins with two modules dedicated to the technology involved in cyber operations

Target Audience

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

Prerequisites

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

Pre-study e-Learning material

Cyber Awareness Course Tallinn Manual Module on the NATO e-Learning website (JADL – https://jadl.act.nato.int/)

 Registration

Registration opens on 6th of September 2021. Applicants from CCDCOE member nations should use the registration code provided by their national Point of Contact. An email confirming the participation will be sent only after the registration has closed.

If you have any questions or issues with registration, please contact [email protected]