International Law of Cyber Operations, May


International Law of Cyber Operations, May


18-22 May 2015

Registration deadline:

3 Apr 2015

Accredited as “NATO selected”


Tallinn, Estonia

Number of participants:

36. Registration is closed because the course is sold out.

Participation fee:

€500 (1 free slot per Sponsoring Nation). €400 for students who do not attend Day 1

With all states increasingly facing hostile cyber operations, and with some of them developing the capacity to bring cyber to bear in the contemporary battlespace, the International Law of Cyber Operations course is an invaluable educational opportunity for military and civilian legal advisors to the armed forces, intelligence community lawyers, and other civilian attorneys in governmental security posts.

The 5-day Residential Course begins with an optional “tech-day” that 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-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 1.5-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 finally, self-defence, 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 1.5-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 course is offered by the Centre in cooperation with the United States Naval War College and the University of Exeter. The lectures will be given by noted scholars and practitioners, including two co-authors of the Tallinn Manual, Professors Michael Schmitt (United States Naval War College and University of Exeter) and Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg (European University Viadrina). As such, 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.

Students can earn credit for the International Law of Cyber Operations course from the University of Exeter. For more details on this opportunity, please contact events -at-