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Prof Schmitt and the former Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand provided a joint keynote address to the conference.

Exeter Law School: Thought Leaders in Cyber Law

Exeter Law School’s Professor Michael Schmitt and Dr. Kubo Mačák were figured prominently at a series of events on cyber security held in Tallinn, Estonia, over the past two weeks. 

The events were kicked off when Professor Schmitt co-directed a week-long seminar on cyber law with Cyber Law International’s Liis Vihul for the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE).  The seminar, which brought together government lawyers and policy makers from NATO and Partnership for Peace countries, was based on the recently released Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations, the culmination of a seven-year research project directed by Prof Schmitt.  At the end of the course, the NATO CCD COE recognized Prof Schmitt by reappointing him a Senior Fellow at the centre.

The following week was the 9th International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CyCon), the largest annual gathering of cyber security experts in the world.  At the event, Dr Mačák presented his paper, “From the Vanishing Point Back to the Core: The Impact of the Development of the Cyber Law of War on General International Law”, which has now been published in the book Defending the Core.  Additionally, Prof Schmitt and the former Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand provided a joint keynote address to the conference regarding grey zones in the international law of cyberspace, which was based on an article by Prof Schmitt in the Yale Journal of International Law.

During the event, Prof Schmitt appeared on Estonian television, filmed comments for inclusion in a film marking Estonia’s coming Presidency of the European Union, and was interviewed about cyber law by various media, including Agence France and Reuters.

On the margins of the conference, Prof Schmitt also participated in an expert meeting organized by Microsoft to consider the creation of an international body charged with the attribution of major cyber attacks.  The prospect comes in conjunction with Microsoft’s proposal for a Digital Geneva Convention.

Finally, Prof Schmitt was invited to offer his thoughts on cyber law to the Commissioners of the  Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace.  The Commission is charged with developing proposals for norms and policies to enhance international security and stability and guide responsible state and non-state behaviour in cyberspace.

The week demonstrated the growing global influence of Exeter Law School in the field of international law.  In addition to their work on cyber law, Prof Schmitt and Dr Mačák are active in the International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS) Project, which the University of Exeter co-sponsors with McGill University and the University of Adelaide.

Richard Edwards, Head of the Law School said: "I am thrilled that Mike and Kubo are making an indispensable contribution to a matter of increasing global concern. That both Mike and Kubo can use their considerable skills and expertise in this way is terrific. I am especially delighted that Mike has been reappointed as a Senior Fellow at the Centre."

Date: 6 June 2017

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