17 Feb 2020 / The Hague

Cyber Operations and International Law


On Monday 17 February 2020, our Visiting Fellow François Delerue will hold a lecture on cyber operations and international law.

Location: Leiden University, Campus Den Haag, Wijnhaven - room 3.60, Turfmarkt 99, The Hague
Time: 15:30 - 17:00 (+ networking drink from 17:00-18:00)
Registration: free, via email (info@thehaguecybernorms.nl)

We all know that international law matters in the real world, but if and how it matters in the cyber world is an open question. Does international law matter in cyberspace?

International law is the backbone of international relations and is crucial for maintaining international peace and security. Yet, we may wonder whether a State will consider international law as a suitable framework to address a massive cyber operation meddling with its election process, shutting down electricity for thousands of citizens or blowing up an industrial facility on its territory.

In recent years, several States have attributed cyber operations to other States, sometimes qualifying them as wrongful acts, but they neither detailed which norms of international law had been breached nor used the international legal framework to respond to these acts.

Does this mean that the international legal framework is not suitable to address the threats associated with the exponential development of the Internet and information and communication technologies? Or is it because States are not clear on how to apply international law to cyberspace?

François Delerue’s lecture will discuss these questions and more generally the application of international law to cyber operations. This lecture will be based on his forthcoming book titled ‘Cyber Operations and International Law’ (Cambridge University Press, February 2020).