Inaugural “Executive Course in International Cyber Law”

On the 18th of May the inaugural University of Reading School of Law’s “Executive Course in International Cyber Law” was launched virtually. Sponsored by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and offered through the Organization of American States, the course brings together 38 government officials from 16 nations and the OAS to examine how international law applies in cyberspace. Participants include diplomats, military officers, law enforcement personnel, cyber agency members, and other government attorneys, policy makers, and cyber operators.

The two-week programme deals with a wide array of legal subjects, such as sovereignty, jurisdiction, the prohibitions on intervention and the use of force, the law of the sea/air/space, self-defence in cyberspace, and international human rights law online. Because states and criminal groups continue use cyber means to exploit the COVID-19 crisis, special attention is being paid to that subject.

Professor Mike Schmitt, who joined the School of Law faculty in April, directs the programme. Plans to offer it around the world in 2020 were disrupted by pandemic travel restrictions but will recommence once they are lifted. In the meantime, the programme has moved entirely online, together with a number of shorter bespoke offerings. For instance, Professor Schmitt and colleagues recently held two webinars for Australian government attorneys and will soon offer a webinar for Women in Cyber. A new course on Human Rights in Cyberspace is in development and is also expected to be certified by the School of Law as Executive Education.