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Short Course: Cyber Operations and International Law

Date: 8 Sessions: 19, 26 September, 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 October and 7 November 2023

Time: 10.00 - 12.00 (UK time)

Venue: Online


Course Outline

Offensive cyber operations continue to draw significant attention in mainstream media and political discourse as the targeting of systems such as those relating to critical national infrastructure remain a major concern for states and the private sector alike. This course is designed to tackle the most pressing questions and issues relating to the application of international law to cyberspace by examining the attributes of cyber operations to understand the challenges they pose for existing frameworks of international law.

The course deals substantively with underlying normative issues concerning the application of international law to cyber operations in an accessible manner with sessions that are grounded in practical case studies. The course covers different views on the relationship between the principle of sovereignty and cyber operations, including discussion of relevant corollary rules and obligations of conduct, and extends to include consideration of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. The course begins with a general introduction to cybersecurity and concludes with a discussion of alternative approaches to cyber governance.

By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Understand underlying issues of cybersecurity, different kinds of cyber operations and the challenges they present for international law
  • Understand different views on the principle of sovereignty and its relationship with cyber operations
  • Understand debates among states and commentators over key areas of contention in the application of international law to cyber operations
  • Be able to take a real or hypothetical cyber-scenario and identify relevant legal rules or principles that are implicated
  • Gain a general or improved understanding of the relevant rules and principles of international law covered by the course that is beneficial beyond the cyber-context

Indicative course topics:

  • Introduction to Cybersecurity and International Law
    Dr Jack Kenny, BIICL
  • International human rights law and cyber operations
    Prof. Yuval Shany, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • The Principle of Sovereignty and Cyber Operations
    Dr Jack Kenny, BIICL
  • Due diligence obligations and cyber operations
    Dr Jack Kenny, BIICL
  • Cyber operations, non-intervention, use of force and countermeasures
    Prof. Marco Roscini, University of Westminster
  • International humanitarian law and cyber operations
    Prof. Kubo Mačák, International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Alternative approaches to cyber governance
    Prof. Nnenna Ifeanyi-Ajufo, University of Bradford

 Download the Programme

Course leader

Dr Jack Kenny, Research Fellow in International Law, British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL).

Who is the course for?

The course is suitable for a wide range of participants interested in the application of public international law to cyber operations, including government representatives, NGO representatives, legal practitioners, in-house counsel, academics, students and other professionals. The course is intended to be relevant and accessible to lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

Course format

The virtual course format will consist of a series of 8 sessions in which live (synchronous) teaching is offered via Zoom. Participants will be able to interact with the tutors and amongst themselves on screen. The course will present case studies at the end of every session to anchor understanding in real-world scenarios, facilitating an approachable "hands-on" learning environment.

Participants at BIICL short courses are also invited to join exclusive events for trainees following completion of the course.

Pricing and Registration

The course cost is £775 per person (including VAT).


Course Discounts

Member Discount: 15% discount for individual members of BIICL
Details of individual memberships 

Group discounts:

  • 15% discount for groups of 3 or more attendees from NGO organisations or staff of government
  • 15% discount for groups of 5 or more attendees from commercial organisations

To apply for any of the group discounts please Contact Us. 

Training scholarships

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law is committed to equality and opportunity in the legal profession and to support greater engagement of under-represented groups in the legal profession.

In our efforts in this regard we are delighted to offer 3 scholarships for each of our short courses to participants from communities and backgrounds currently under-represented in the legal community.

Applications for training scholarships must be received at least three weeks ahead of the course start date (29 August 2023).

Find out more about training scholarships 

Join in the conversation @BIICL #BIICLTraining

CPD Information

This event offers the equivalent of 16 CPD hours.

A certificate of attendance will be issued to participants attending a minimum of 70% of live course session time. Certificates will be sent to course participants within one month of the last session of the course.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

Event Recording

Please note that our events may be photographed or recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. If you object to appearing in recordings or photographs, please contact the Events team to let us know ahead of the event.

Event Cancellation Policy

When you register for an event you will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood our cancellation policy.

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