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Seminar on the topic of "Mistake of Fact in International Law – Unexplored Terrain"

For International Lawyers, the initial position of the Iranian government regarding shooting down Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 in early January 2020 had to be inquired, as to the validity of claiming one of the well-established defences in criminal law, namely “mistake of fact”, applicable in this scenario. The tragedy created by this unfortunate incident left many initial questions unanswered, particularly concerning the official Iranian vague denial before admitting the shooting due to wrong radar reading. Our colleague Alexandra Pereverzeva dedicated this seminar to discuss this issue.

Seminar on the topic of "Mistake of Fact in International Law – Unexplored Terrain"

The question raised was wither the normativity of the “mistake of fact” defence in related international legal instruments can be balanced with the concreteness of situations involving cyber operations when the defence of mistake of facts is invoked in relation to the use of autonomous weapon systems.

The presenter provided her opinion on the issue concerned, through analyzing a plethora of legal instruments as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as to establish criminal individual responsibility, and Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, as to establish state responsibility under international law. Then she tested findings were tested in analogy to the 2017 Tallinn Manual on cyber operations and the increasing international efforts to establish a legal regime to govern the use of lethal autonomous weapon systems..

The presenter provided her opinion on the issue concerned, through analyzing a plethora of legal instruments as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as to establish criminal individual responsibility, and Draft articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, as to establish state responsibility under international law. Then she tested findings were tested in analogy to the 2017 Tallinn Manual on cyber operations and the increasing international efforts to establish a legal regime to govern the use lethal autonomous weapon systems.