State Responsibility in the Cyber Operations
On 9 October 2014, British Institute of International and Comparative Law and Bingham Center for the Rule of Law jointly organize Arthur Watts public international law seminar series sponsored by Volterra Fietta. From arbitration to environment law, writing tips for the peer reviewed journals to research proposal for PhD applications, on the wide range area, different seminars will take place with the presentation of well know scholars. Here is the program of events.
First seminar was about the revolution in foreign relations law in the UK and other Commonwealth jurisdictions. Second seminar, on the other hand, was entitled as “State Responsibility for Cyber Operations: International Law Issues.”
Speakers were Dr. Russel Buchan (University of Sheffield), Dr. Marco Roscini (University of Westminster) and Dr. Nicholas Tsagourias (University of Sheffield).
Evidencing for the cyber operations
After the general introduction made by Tsagourias, Roscini began his presentation on evidentiary issues in relation to state responsibility for cyber operations. He mentioned the attacks on Estonia, Georgia, but also the Stuxnet, Duqu, Flame and cyber espionage operations.
With regard to the burden of proof, Roscini underlined that Actori incumbit onus probandi which means ‘the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. Reversal of the burden of proof in the cyber context is not the case.
Considering the nature of proof, Roscini described that evidence for cyber operations should be “clear and convincing”. Clear and convincing evidence is on the other hand can be obtained through the documentary evidence, official statements, witnesses, enquiries, experts, technical evidences. However illegally obtained evidences are regarded as inadmissible. For example, cyber espionage and interception are helpful to trace back and assert responsibility, however, first one is an internationally wrongful act and the latter is a violation of international human rights.
For much more detailed information on those issues, you may look the Roscini’s book: Cyber Operations and the Use of Force in International Law