At an online workshop, around 30 cyber experts discussed the humanitarian and societal impact of military cyber operations.
Aimed at mapping risk and protection needs in the context of contemporary military cyber capabilities, the workshop notably addressed the potential human cost of cyber operations, societal risks of cyber operations, and military cyber operations during armed conflicts.
This workshop is one of the first steps of a research project – carried out jointly with the International Committee of the Red Cross –on the humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts.
Via a multi-disciplinary approach that takes into consideration the interrelated technical, military, ethical, policy, legal and humanitarian aspects, the research will assess the continued relevance of international law, especially international humanitarian law (IHL), in this context. Ultimately – and depending on the findings – it will develop law and policy recommendations aiming to mitigate the identified risks and address new protection needs.
‘We start by looking at questions related to cyber technologies in a military context and their potential humanitarian consequences and protection needs for conflict-affected populations. At this stage, our objective is to get the facts right and ask the right questions’ explains Robin Geiss, Swiss IHL Chair at the Geneva Academy.
‘Subsequent workshops will discuss questions related to artificial intelligence (AI) and will notably address AI-supported decision-making processes during armed conflicts. Again, in the first instance the objective will be to gather technical expertise and to start an informed discussion on that basis’ he adds.
Our Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on IHL Dr Annyssa Bellal travelled this summer to North-East Syria with colleagues from Geneva Call – Ezequiel Heffes and Pascal Bongard – as part of the research project she leads that examines the practice and interpretation of ANSAs on core IHL norms.
Three new Working Papers – researched by the Geneva Academy in the context of our joint project with the ICRC on the digitalization of armed conflict – address some of the main issues of contention concerning the application of international law to military cyber operations.
VOA, via Wikimedia Commons
This online IHL talk aims at shining light on some of the many legal, political and protection-related challenges stemming from the situation in Afghanistan.
Dr Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy at the ICRC, will address the legal, operational and political imperative of the international community continuing to work towards the application and implementation of IHL.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, looks at the sources from which public international law rules stem and at the entities that are empowered with the capacity of law-making in the international legal order. It aims at enabling participants to develop a global perception of the international normative system.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.
Via a new lecture series on disruptive military technologies, this project aims at staying abreast of the various military technology trends; promoting legal and policy debate on new military technologies; and furthering the understanding of the convergent effects of different technological trends shaping the digital battlefield of the future.
This project will explore humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts and the extent to which these needs are addressed by international law, especially international humanitarian law.