Professor Mike Schmitt has been reappointed the Charles H. Stockton Distinguished Scholar at the United States Naval War College’s Stockton Center for International Law. He follows a distinguished line of scholars stretching back to Hans Kelsen in 1953.
Professor Mike Schmitt recently addressed the United States Naval War College on “Extraterritorial Defensive Cyber Operations and International Law.” The US Naval War College is a post-graduate institution focusing on international security issues for senior military officers and government officials from throughout the United States and partner nations. He also addressed Columbia University’s faculty and students at the invitation of the Columbia Society of International Law. Professor Schmitt spoke on “America’s Cyber Strategy in 2021 and Beyond,” specifically evaluating the Trump and Biden administrations’ approach to cyber strategy from an international law standpoint. Finally, Mike most recently virtually visited Harvard Law to talk about his experiences as an international lawyer.
In March 2021 Professor Mike Schmitt co-directed the year’s first Executive Course on International Law in Cyberspace for government officials from throughout the Caribbean region. The course, certified by the University of Reading’s School of Law as Executive Education, takes a deep look at how international law governs cyber operations conducted by states, as well as by non-State actors ranging from terrorist groups to “patriotic hackers”. It addresses the law applying in both peacetime and armed conflict. This course was part of a program launched last year to train government officials on international cyber law. In addition to the Executive Course, a 7-day course on International Human Rights and Cyberspace is also available, the first of which was delivered early this year to government officials from throughout Southeast Asia. The courses are sponsored by individual countries. Additional courses will be offered around the world during 2021, all for officials with a cyber portfolio.
The School of Law is continuing to build on its outreach efforts to governments around the world with “International Law in the Cyber Era: Finding Balance between State Interests and Individual Rights”, a new course sponsored by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and co-directed by the Law School’s Professor Mike Schmitt. The pilot offering of the course ran from 2-10 February 2021 for government officials throughout Southeast Asia. It joins the “International Law of Cyber Operations” program for government officials, which was offered 12 times around the world last year, in being certified as Executive Education by the University of Reading School of Law. The new “Finding Balance” course focuses on international human rights law and other aspects of international law that afford individuals and private entities protection in cyberspace. Key topics include freedom of expression and the right to privacy online, the role of business in safeguarding human rights, and protecting civilians from harmful cyber operations during armed conflict. The School’s Executive Courses in cyber affairs are sponsored by the Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, and United States, often in cooperation with regional organisations like the Organization of American States and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. This year, Canada joins as a major sponsor of the programmes.
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