Revisiting Belligerent Reprisals in the Age of Cyber
29 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2019
Date Written: 2018
This article critically explores the legal landscape of belligerent reprisals and considers whether the use of these measures is a viable enforcement mechanism under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in the context of cyber operations. Because of the layered approach to this inquiry, the article has seven parts that build upon each other. Part II of the article provides an overview of the history of belligerent reprisals under IHL. Part III discusses belligerent reprisals in the context of today's understanding of IHL. Part IV further explores cyber operations and belligerent reprisals. Countermeasures (at one time known as peacetime reprisals) under the law of state responsibility forms the basis of Part V. Part VI provides an analytical framework for considering how cyber means and methods could effectively facilitate an expand use of belligerent reprisals for some States under certain conditions. Additionally, this section serves as the lens for re-examining the propriety and practicality of breathing life back into this controversial enforcement mechanism under IHL. Lastly, Part VII summarizes and concludes the article.
Keywords: law of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, reprisals, cyber space, cyber warfare, cyber operations, countermeasures, jus in bello
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation