The fourth EU Cyber Direct Research Seminar was organised by Leiden University, together with Dr Patryk Pawlak, on Monday 3 April 2023 in The Hague, the Netherlands, and focused on the topic of accountability.
The research seminar was dedicated to the question of accountability in cyberspace. Significant attention of the ongoing UN processes has been devoted to ensuring states’ compliance with a framework for responsible state behaviour as established by the consecutive UN Groups of Governmental Experts and the Open-ended Working Group on cyber issues. The focus has been on ensuring states' compliance with the agreed 11 norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace and application of the existing international law in cyberspace. Consequently, much of the scholarly and policy work over the past decade has focused on doctrines (e.g. deterrence) or practice (e.g. norm implementation, enforcement through international organizations) that help to ensure state compliance with this framework and end impunity of malicious actors.
The research seminar aimed to address two major questions:
- What lessons from the existing theories can we draw for the discussion about accountability in cyberspace? What can we learn from the research on norms, international law, institutions or sanctions for the debates about accountability in cyberspace? What are the policy implications of the discussion about accountability remaining theoretical?
- What lessons about accountability can we learn from other policy regimes? How can the existing mechanisms for criminal justice, human rights and trade be used to support accountability in cyberspace?
A policy paper will be published based on an input paper and the subsequent discussions during the seminar.