Cyber Operations and International Law: An Interventionist Legal Thought

21 Journal of Conflict & Security Law (2016)

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2016-21

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2016-11

23 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2016 Last revised: 21 Apr 2016

See all articles by Jean d'Aspremont

Jean d'Aspremont

Sciences Po Law School; University of Manchester - School of Law

Date Written: April 15, 2016

Abstract

This article argues that the international legal scholarship grappling with cyber operations can be understood as a form of interventionism. Such literature reads as an attempt by international lawyers to intervene in the problems of the world by stretching existing legal frameworks like the United Nations Charter to address what they see as dangerous legal gaps. This article sheds light on the four key argumentative patterns around which such scholarly interventionism is commonly articulated: problem-finding, administrativist camouflage, consequentialist bending, and evidentiary pragmatism. In doing so, attention is paid to the limitations of interventionism, especially at the evidentiary stage. Mention is also made of the alternative argumentative patterns into which international lawyers are pushed because of the evidentiary challenges they face in relation to the management of cyber operations through the United Nations Charter. This article ultimately argues that many of the legal problems faced by those interventionist international lawyers who want to address problems of cyber operations through existing international legal frameworks are self-inflicted.

Keywords: International law, collective security, United Nations Charter, cyber operations, cyber attacks, attribution, self-defence, interventionism, managerialism, theory of legal argumentation, sources of international law, analogy, consequentialism

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

d'Aspremont, Jean, Cyber Operations and International Law: An Interventionist Legal Thought (April 15, 2016). 21 Journal of Conflict & Security Law (2016); Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2016-21; Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2016-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2765408 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2765408

Jean D'Aspremont (Contact Author)

Sciences Po Law School ( email )

13 rue de l'université
Paris, 75007
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.sciencespo.fr/ecole-de-droit/en/profile/daspremont-jean

University of Manchester - School of Law ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL, M139PL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/Jean.daspremont/

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