‘Racism will not pass’… A new article by Dr Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne

Dr Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne has published a new article entitled “‘Racism will not pass’…” on the blog of the European Journal of International Law. The article critically discusses the recent debate that took place in the UN Human Rights Council in light of the police killing of George Floyd in May in the United States. In the article, Dr Hill-Cawthorne considers the manoeuvring by a number of states (particularly western states) that saw a watering down of the original draft resolution that had been presented by the Group of African States and that would have led to the creation of an International Commission of Inquiry into racist police violence in the US.

Dr Peter Coe’s book chapter – ‘A comparative analysis of the treatment of corporate reputation in Australia and the UK’

Dr Peter Coe has written a chapter entitled ‘A comparative analysis of the treatment of corporate reputation in Australia and the UK’ for Professor András Koltay’s and Dr Paul Wragg’s edited collection Comparative Privacy and Defamation which has been published by Edward Elgar Publishing. The chapter critically analyses the Australian restriction on companies pursuing defamation claims, compared to the UK position, in which companies have a stronger, albeit imperfect right. It argues that both jurisdictions undervalue the significance of corporate reputation and its importance in the global economy.

‘An International Attribution Mechanism for Hostile Cyber Operations’ by Professor Mike Schmitt (co-author)

Professor Mike Schmitt’s co-authored article with Professor Yuval Shany of Hebrew University entitled ‘An International Attribution Mechanism for Hostile Cyber Operations’; has been published by International Law Studies. The article is the result of an international research project organised by the Federmann Cyber Security Research Center at Hebrew University to consider the feasibility of establishing an international attribution mechanism for hostile cyber operations, as well as the usefulness of such a body. Mike and Yuval observe that, at present, states wielding significant cyber capability have little interest in creating such a mechanism. These states appear to be of the view that they can generate sufficient accountability and deterrence based on their independent technological capacity, access to expertise and to offensive (active defense) cyber tools, political clout, security alliances, and other policy tools, such as sanctions. However, countries with limited technological capacity and less ability to mobilize international support for collective attribution are more amenable to the prospect. To date, proposals to establish an international attribution mechanism have not acquired momentum. However, the article suggests that progress remains possible by focusing on the three logical constituencies for such a body—States with limited technological, intelligence, and diplomatic capacity; States interested in generating broad collective attribution of attacks perpetrated against them; and international and regional organizations operating a cyber-related sanctions regime. Such a focus, combined with greater granularity, would significantly improve the prospects for the establishment of an international attribution mechanism and its eventual utilization by the international community.

Professor Mike Schmitt co-directs a workshop on International Cyber Law for the Indonesian government

From the 6th to the 13th of June, Professor Mike Schmitt co-directed a virtual workshop on International Cyber Law for officials from across the Indonesian government. The event, which was sponsored by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is part of a continuing cyber law capacity-building effort by numerous nations that the School of Law certifies as Executive Education.

University of Reading School of Law School Workshop for Women in Cyber Fellows

In early July, the governments of Australia, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom jointly sponsored a global workshop for participants in the “Women in Cyber Fellowship” program. The Fellows are key diplomats and other government officials involved in international cyber policy and law, including those representing their nations in the ongoing United Nations negotiations regarding the applicability of international law to cyber operations and the development of norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace.

The workshop, which the School of Law certifies as Executive Education, was co-directed by the School’s Professor Mike Schmitt.  Conducted online, the three-day workshop was offered twice, once for Fellows from the Asia Pacific region and once for those based in Africa and the Americas. The topics ranged from sovereignty in cyberspace and the prohibition on using cyber means to intervene in other state’s internal affairs to the use of cyber weapons during armed conflict.  Much of the discussion understandably centered on malicious cyber operations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the academic partner with numerous governments in international cyber law capacity building, the School of Law is a global leader in ensuring officials around the world understand how international law governs cyber activities and assisting them to build their own national cyber strategies and policies. In July, for instance, week-long Executive Education workshops will be offered for Indonesian officials and for those from throughout the Americas, all of whom are responsible to cyber policy and law in their nations.