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Part VI Emerging Areas?, Ch.52 The Use of Cyber Force and International Law

Michael N. Schmitt

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law

Edited By: Marc Weller

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 05 October 2023

Armed attack — International peace and security — Self-defence — Countermeasures — Terrorism — Terrorism, financing

This chapter focuses on the use of cyber force on and off the battlefield within the framework of international law. Drawing on the work of the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare (2013), it considers the jus ad bellum issues surrounding cyber operations. In particular, it examines when cyber operations violate the prohibition on the use (or threat) of force set forth in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter and customary international law, and when a state that has been the target of cyber operations may retaliate with its own use of force. The chapter also discusses two exceptions to the prohibition on the use of force under Article 51 of the UN Charter, one of which is the exercise of the right of self-defence. Finally, it analyses state interpretations of international law’s prescriptive norms regarding the use of force when applied to cyberspace.

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