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Brand new International Cyber Law course rings in the New Year

The Cyber Cooperation Program kicked off 2021 with a new, regional pilot executive course, delivered by Cyber Law International which concluded Wednesday 10 February, 2021. The course was delivered by well renowned experts in the field of international law and cyberspace.

  • Professor Michael Schmitt, Professor of Public International Law from the University of Reading
  • Professor Marko Milanovic, Professor of Public International Law from the University of Nottingham
  • Liis Vihul, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cyber Law International
  • Professor Philippa Webb, Professor of Public International Law at King’s College London
  • Professor Robert McCorquodale, Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Nottingham
  • Kathleen Reen, Senior Director of Public Policy and Philanthropy APAC at Twitter
  • Professor Yuval Shany, Hersch Lauterpacht Chair in International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and former member and Chair of the UN Human Rights Committee.

The seven-day course International Law in the Cyber Era: Finding Balance Between State Interests and Individual Rights explored the links between international law, individual rights, cyber activities, and national security. Through in-depth discussion on these topics, 27 participants learned how to address challenges presented by cyberspace and pursue legitimate national interests in ways that comply with international law. A recurring theme throughout the course was the COVID-19 pandemic and its cyber implications. Among the issues considered were the handling of virus-related online disinformation, as well as the use of COVID-19 tracing apps, while also respecting human rights law. There was strong representation from across government with participants bringing experience from justice, cyber security, human rights, and foreign policy portfolios to name a few.

The course included two practitioner-oriented exercises which provided the participants an opportunity to independently apply the legal principles and rules to COVID-19-inspired fictional scenarios. In the in-depth group discussions that followed, conversation revolved around topics such as the enjoyment of the right to privacy online, legal bases for restricting online expression, and the legal obligations states bear to protect individuals against online harms.

In the course wrap-up one of the participants commented, "This course was absolutely spectacular! I enjoyed every session with the experts. They delivered the material thoroughly, interacted well, and the exercises are challenging. Everyone working in legal, cyber, and human rights should learn more in this course!"

Liis Vihul, CEO of Cyber Law International, commented that they were excited about the pilot course “because it complements the existing International Law of Cyber Operations course, we offer on behalf of DFAT so well. Whereas that course covers international law generally, especially in the context of state-to-state relations, the new International Law in the Cyber Era course focuses on the protections international law offers to individuals.”.

Congratulations to the participants on obtaining completion certificates, and well done to the faculty for running a successful course.

Participants learning about Second Generation Digital Rights. Image credit: Cyber Law International.
Participants learning about Second Generation Digital Rights. Image credit: Cyber Law International.
Participants beginning the privacy online session. Image credit: Cyber Law International.
Participants beginning the privacy online session. Image credit: Cyber Law International.