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Estonia medal

Professor Michael Schmitt receives the medal from President Kersti Kaljulaid

Estonia awards medal to Exeter professor

A University of Exeter professor has received a medal from the President of Estonia for his work on cyber security.

Professor Michael Schmitt, of Exeter Law School, received the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana from President Kersti Kaljulaid on Thursday.

The award, which is given to foreigners who have made a significant contribution to the nation, recognises his work as Director of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 project on how international law relates to cyber warfare, and his broader contributions to cyber security. 

Professor Schmitt said: “I accepted the award on behalf of the international experts who helped craft the Manual, the scores of peer reviewers scattered around the world who commented on various drafts, and the legal advisers of over 50 nations and international organisations who attended workshops in the Hague designed to assess the work from a government perspective. 

“And, of course, I thank the university for the unending support of my work, and that of my colleagues in the Law School, as we struggle to better understand how international law applies in a constantly changing security environment.”

Professor Schmitt led the efforts that resulted in the 2013 Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare and the 2017 Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations, both published by Cambridge University Press

Schmitt is now working with various organisations – including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Singaporean Cyber Security Agency, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE), the Organization of American States and Cyber Law International – to develop cyber law capacity around the world.

He was in Estonia to direct CCD COE’s course for government legal advisers on international cyber law, and to speak at the Senior Executive Seminar on Cyber Conflict, which brings together senior government and military officials to assess the current cyber threat and consider strategies to meet it.

In addition to participation in the Law School’s Exeter Centre for International Law, Professor Schmitt serves as a Senior Fellow for the NATO Cyber Centre, as well as a Research Associate at Hebrew University’s Cyber Security Research Center.

Additionally, last month Professor Schmitt spoke at the 2017 CyCon (Cyber Conflict) U.S. Conference in Washington on the future of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 and norms of international law in cyberspace with Liis Vihul, CEO of Cyber Law International, Colonel Gary Corn, the senior legal adviser for United States Cyber Command and General Jen Buckner, Deputy Commander of JTF Ares, the organization working to defeat ISIS on-line. 

Date: 6 December 2017

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