Crossing the Line: The Law of War and Cyber Engagement

Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association, Section of International Law (ABA SIL) on Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 11:00 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC.

In a world characterized by changing forms of international conflict and advancements in technology, do traditional rules of engagement apply to new battlefields? As part of the evolving methods of engagement and the laws governing international conflicts, are new questions presented which require innovative applications of the traditional rules of armed conflict? Do the laws of armed conflict apply to cyberspace? If so, how and in what context do they apply? When do cyber operations constitute an “armed attack” or “use of force” pursuant to international law and Article 51 of the UN Charter? When are those engaged in cyber operations “belligerents” or “combatants” pursuant to such laws? When are cyber operations subject to domestic jurisdiction under national legal regimes, or alternatively, when does international law govern these operations? Which legal regimes are to be applied (e.g., criminal/espionage/sabotage or the law of armed conflict)? How are non-state actors (i.e., hackers or hacker groups) conducting information gathering or denial operations (e.g., DoS or DDoS) to be addressed? Our seasoned panel of experts will engage the audience and shed light on these and other pressing questions through the prism of contemporary international law.

Committee Sponsor: 

  • National Security

Committee Co-Sponsors:

  • Export Controls and Economic Sanctions; International Trade

Chairs: 

  • Jonathan M. Meyer, Attorney at Law, New York, NY
  • Philip D. O'Neill, International Arbitrator, Adjunct Professor, Boston, MA

Moderator: 

  • Jonathan M. Meyer, Attorney at Law, New York, NY

Speakers:

  • Abigail Cotterill, Miller & Chevalier Chartered, Washington, DC
  • Gary Brown
  • Sandra L. Hodgkinson, Leonardo N.A. and DRS Technologies, Arlington, Virginia
  • Philip D. O'Neill, International Arbitrator, Adjunct Professor, Boston, MA
  • Ruth Wedgwood, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC

Materials: