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Seminar on the topic of "The UN Charter and ‘cyber warfare’:substantial law and evidentiary issues"

The speaker Marco Roscini, Professor of International Law at the University of Westminster in London and the author of Cyber Operations and the Use of Force in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2014) dedicated his presentation to two issues: substantial International law applicable to cyber operations and relevant evidentiary standards.

The seminar addressed the possibility of application to cyber operations of the rules on the use of force contained in the UN Charter. Are at least certain cyber operations prohibited as a ‘use of armed force’ under Article 2(4)? When do cyber operations amount to an ‘armed attack’? Can states ever resort to self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter in response to cyber attacks? And what are the powers of the UN Security Council that can be envisaged in this context?

The presentation also highlighted the evidentiary obstacles to the applicability of the UN Charter rules to cyber operations. The speaker emphasized on the fact that a cyber operation originating from the territory of a state may be insufficient evidence per se to attribute the operation to such state (UN GGE 2015 Report, Tallinn Manual).

In the presentation, the speaker also gave an overview of remedies against cyber operations within the light of ILC Articles on State Responsibility (2001).