This edited publication aims at reflecting on the future of discussions on the applicability of international law to States’ use of ICTs in the context of highly politicised discussions at the multilateral level and offering practical suggestions for the European Union to pursue its objectives in this field as stated in the 2020 EU Cybersecurity Strategy.
More precisely, the publication was initiated with a twofold goal:
- To identify issues on which further discussions on the rules and principles of international law could be pursued at the multilateral level or in other fora. Part of the reflection also aimed at identifying in which fora, and with which partners, these discussions should take place.
- To identify potential complementarity, cross-fertilisation and overlaps between the discussion on and implementation of the framework of responsible behaviour and processes concerning other branches of international law.
These objectives were based on the observation of a twofold dynamic: the pursuance of discussions on the interpretation of international law in multilateral fora on one hand, and the unilateral path chosen by States to advance the pre-mentioned discussion on the other hand.
To conduct this strategic thinking, international law scholars were gathered on 21 January 2022 as part of the first EU Cyber Direct Research Seminar. It resulted in the following publication that, in addition to the introduction prepared by François Delerue and Aude Géry, consists of five papers offering in-depth views on the matters discussed during the seminar. Firstly, Giovanna Adinolfi discusses international economic law and possible unilateral measures to be adopted by states in reaction to cyber operations. Secondly, Barrie Sander examines the existing and potential role of human rights within ongoing discussions on the international law applicable to cyber operations taking place at the United Nations. Thirdly, Vera Rusinova discusses the application of sovereignty in cyberspace and its different interpretations. Fourthly, Duncan Hollis examines the prohibition of intervention. Finally, Talita Dias navigates the different dimensions of due diligence in cyberspace.
The participants in the EU Cyber Direct Research Seminar were: Giovanna Adinolfi (University of Milan), Dennis Broeders (Leiden University), François Delerue (Leiden University), Talita Dias (Jesus College & University of Oxford), Sophie Duroy (KFG Berlin-Potsdam Research Group 'The International Rule of Law: Rise or Decline?'), Aude Géry (GEODE, Paris 8), Larissa van den Herik (Leiden University), Duncan B. Hollis (Temple University), Matthias C. Kettemann (University of Innsbruck), Patryk Pawlak (EUISS), Przemysław Roguski (Jagiellonian University), Annachiara Rotondo (University of Naples Federico II), Vera Rusinova (National Research University Higher School of Economics), Barrie Sander (Leiden University), Nicholas Tsagourias (University of Sheffield), and Pål Wrange (Stockholm University).