Presentations by external speakers at the University of Aberdeen

The Right to Self-Defence under International Law: Reading and Re-reading the Caroline Correspondence, 1832-1842, Dino Kritsiotis, Professor at the University of Nottingham,  Friday 1st March 2019, 4-5pm, Taylor Building C11.

The seminar will concentrate on (a) an examination of the function and meaning of the principles of necessity and proportionality (and their interrelation with each other) and (b) a consideration of how the International Court of Justice has invoked these principles in its jurisprudence with respect to the exercise of the right of self-defence.

Regulating Campaign Spending in the Age of the Internet, Lori Ringhand, Hosch Professor of Law at the University of Georgia , Friday 22 February 2009, 4-5pm, Taylor Building C11

Government officials in the UK and the US have struggled to find effective ways to regulate campaign spending on the internet. The question of appropriate regulation is challenging,  both in practice and principle, and reformers in the US and the UK have faced surprisingly similar challenges despite the very different underlying regulatory approaches to taken by each nation. This seminar will discuss those challenges, and how each nation is addressing them. 

The Power(s) of Global Constitutionalism, Professor Anthony Lang, University of St Andrews - Law School Research Seminar Series, 10 October 2018 1-3pm, Taylor Building C11.  

Global Constitutionalism has emerged as a field of study within both law and political science over the last 20 years. With a journal established in 2012 and a Handbook published in 2017, a critical mass of scholarship around the topic has emerged. Much of that research reflects developments in international law and regional politics within Europe, particularly around legal pluralism in the EU. Much of it rests upon liberal democratic norms, such as human rights and the rule of law. This paper will both build on that literature but also diverge from it by focusing on the question of power. Rather than law, which orients much of the literature on constitutionalism, this paper, and the book project it will orient, argues that constitutions sit at the intersection of law and power. Power both founds and disrupts constitutions, as is seen in domestic revolutionary moments. This paper looks to global power dynamics in how they found and disrupt global politics.


Presentations by staff members of the Centre

Towards a State-Private Actor Partnership in Securing Cyberspace, Irene Couzigou, Wednesday 27 February 2019, 12-1pm, MacRobert 810

The development of information technology enables both States and non-State actors such as criminal organisations to increase their offensive capabilities. Hence the question arises as to whether international law offers adequate means to secure cyberspace. The paper will first argue that States exercise their sovereign authority over physical infrastructure based in their territory that supports cyber activities, but that they have only limited sovereign authority over other, non-physical, layers of cyberspace. It is the reason why States are often slow or sometimes enable to deter and prosecute cyber attackers. In light of the ineffective action of States in securing cyberspace, private actors, whether multinational information corporations (Google, Facebook, etc.) or private cyber security companies, have reacted to harmful international cyber operations (eg the international theft of electronic data) themselves, outside the international law framework. This presentation will analyse the lawfulness of the involvement of private actors in responding to detrimental cyber operations. It will also show that private cyber hack-back measures raise many legal and political difficulties. Finally, this presentation will recommend cooperation between States and private actors in reacting to harmful international cyber activities and will study how this might occur.

Presentations by PhD Students  of the Centre

Enenu Okwori, Due Diligence Obligation of States and Cyber-attacks: A Loose Cannon? University of Aberdeen, Postgraduate Researchers' Presentations, 3 October, Sir Duncan Rice Library

Abstract: States have an obligation under international law to prevent their territories from being used to perpetrate harmful conducts that will interfere with the rights of other states. This due diligence obligation extends to harmful cyber activities whether originating from or passing through a state. The state’s knowledge of the cyber-attack, the state’s ability to trace the origin of the cyber-attack, the risk of substantial transboundary harm that may result and the fact that the cyber-attack is in contradiction with the rights of other states, are decisive elements capable of triggering this obligation. Nevertheless, the due diligence expected of states cannot exceed their factual capabilities, hence observed with due regard to their legal, financial and technological wherewithal. This is undoubtedly because the obligation is highly observed as one of conduct rather than result, simply expecting best efforts from states with no explicit standards of adherence. This laxity has crippled the potency of the obligation and increased the likelihood of more states evading responsibility for their failure to observe that obligation. It is opined that strengthening the minimum standards required in exercising the due diligence obligation in cyberspace will allow for a stronger universal application in all states irrespective of varying circumstances.