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Hämndaktion eller legitimt självförsvar? - om självförsvarsrätten vid väpnade cyberangrepp och omedelbarhetsrekvisitets påverkan på dess laglighet

Södergren, Sarah LU (2016) JURM02 20161
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Det tilltagande inslaget av ett cyberelement i samhället, i såväl civila som militära kontexter, har lett till en ökande förekomst av cyberoperationer, utförda av individer, grupper eller stater; antingen direkt eller indirekt. Den mellanstatliga rätten till självförsvar utgör ett undantag till stadgans våldsförbud och förutsätter, i såväl art. 51 FN-stadgan som internationell sedvanerätt, ett väpnat angrepp. Vad begreppet närmare innebär då angreppet utgörs av ett cyberangrepp är inte helt klart, varför det finns ett behov av att söka utröna detta. Emellertid har ingen cyberoperation ännu uppgått till denna nivå, och området är därutöver i stort oreglerat och behandlas främst i sekundära rättskällor. Uppsatsen intresserar sig för... (More)
Det tilltagande inslaget av ett cyberelement i samhället, i såväl civila som militära kontexter, har lett till en ökande förekomst av cyberoperationer, utförda av individer, grupper eller stater; antingen direkt eller indirekt. Den mellanstatliga rätten till självförsvar utgör ett undantag till stadgans våldsförbud och förutsätter, i såväl art. 51 FN-stadgan som internationell sedvanerätt, ett väpnat angrepp. Vad begreppet närmare innebär då angreppet utgörs av ett cyberangrepp är inte helt klart, varför det finns ett behov av att söka utröna detta. Emellertid har ingen cyberoperation ännu uppgått till denna nivå, och området är därutöver i stort oreglerat och behandlas främst i sekundära rättskällor. Uppsatsen intresserar sig för kriterierna i denna bedömning och tröskeln för ett väpnat cyberangrepp. Ett annat relevant rekvisit för att en stat ska få nyttja självförsvarsrätten är kravet på omedelbarhet i responsen. Detta rekvisit medger ett flexibelt tidsspann på upp till flera månader. Till följd av cyberoperationens särdrag finns en potentiell risk att tidsutdräkten från angrepp till självförsvar blir så utdragen att självförsvaret istället blir en illegal hämndaktion. Problematiseringen saknas i stort sett helt i existerande forskning varför uppsatsen utreder denna hypotes samt beskriver hur rekvisiten i självförsvarsrätten påverkas av närvaron av cyberelementet.

Kriterierna för ett väpnat cyberangrepp varierar beroende på om man tar fasta på effekterna utav angreppet eller målet för det. Den Internationella domstolen har slagit fast att endast de allvarligaste formerna av våld, av särskild ”scale and effect” och med en intensitet lägst motsvarande ”ringa gränsattacker” kan utgöra ett sådant angrepp. Konsekvenserna måste motsvara ett konventionellt väpnat angrepp och vara substantiella: antingen dödsfall eller skador på människor. Vissa forskare accepterar även omfattande egendomsförstörelse, i synnerhet om det är fråga om s.k. kritisk infrastruktur. Avseende hypotesen om tidskravet i omedelbarhetsrekvisitet påverkas det onekligen av cyberinslaget. Fullgörandet av i stort sett samtliga rekvisit i självförsvarsrätten fördröjs som en följd av detta. Alltifrån att identifiera att man är utsatt för ett väpnat cyberangrepp och ursprunget till angreppet, till om militärt våld i självförsvar är nödvändigt. Slutsatsen är dock att det får anses osannolikt att självförsvarsrätten i en cyberkontext helt omintetgörs, till del p.g.a. att den extensiva tolkningen av rekvisitet i dessa fall får tillämpas än mer flexibelt. (Less)
Abstract
The increasing presence of a cyber element in our society, in civilian as well as in military contexts, has led to an increased amount of cyber operations, carried out by individuals, groups or states; either directly or indirectly. The right to self-defense between states is an exception to the Charter's prohibition of violence and presupposes, in both Article 51 of the UN Charter and customary international law, an armed attack. What the concept means when the attack consists of a cyber attack is not clear, why there is a need to try to ascertain this. However, no cyber operation has yet amounted to this level, and the area is largely unregulated and dealt with mainly in secondary legal sources. This essay is therefore focused on the... (More)
The increasing presence of a cyber element in our society, in civilian as well as in military contexts, has led to an increased amount of cyber operations, carried out by individuals, groups or states; either directly or indirectly. The right to self-defense between states is an exception to the Charter's prohibition of violence and presupposes, in both Article 51 of the UN Charter and customary international law, an armed attack. What the concept means when the attack consists of a cyber attack is not clear, why there is a need to try to ascertain this. However, no cyber operation has yet amounted to this level, and the area is largely unregulated and dealt with mainly in secondary legal sources. This essay is therefore focused on the criteria of this assessment and the threshold for an armed cyber attack. Another relevant criterion for the use of self-defense is the requirement of immediacy regarding the response. This criterion allows a flexible time span of up to several months. Due to the distinctive traits of a cyber operation, there is a potential risk that the duration of time from the attack to the self-defense will be so prolonged that the self-defense becomes an illegal act of retaliation. The hypothesis in question is largely unaccounted for why this will be investigated, along with a descripiton of the criteria for self-defence and how they are affected by the cyber element.

The criteria for an armed cyber attacks vary depending on whether one takes into account the effects of the attack or the target for it. The International Court of Justice has ruled that only the most grave forms of violence, with a certain "scale and effect" and with an intensity beyond "mere frontier incidents” may constitute such an attack. The impact must correspond to a conventional armed attack and be substantial, causing either death or injuries to humans. Some scholars also accept extensive property destruction, especially in the case of so-called critical infrastructure. Regarding the hypothesis about the requirement of immediacy it is undeniably affected by a cyber element. The performance of virtually all the conditions for self-defense is protracted as a result. From the difficulties in identifying that one is the subject of an armed attack to determining the origin of it and whether military force is necessary. However, the conclusion is that it is considered unlikely that the right of self-defense in a cyber context is made impossible, in part because the broad interpretation of the condition in these cases may be applied even more flexibly. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Södergren, Sarah LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Retaliation or legitimate self-defense? - the right to self-defense in the face of armed cyber attacks and the impact on its legality by the requirement of immediacy
course
JURM02 20161
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Folkrätt, självförsvar, väpnat angrepp, cyberattack, omedelbarhet, public international law, self-defence, armed attack, cyber attack, immediacy
language
Swedish
id
8887917
date added to LUP
2016-08-25 16:36:30
date last changed
2016-08-25 16:36:30
@misc{8887917,
  abstract     = {The increasing presence of a cyber element in our society, in civilian as well as in military contexts, has led to an increased amount of cyber operations, carried out by individuals, groups or states; either directly or indirectly. The right to self-defense between states is an exception to the Charter's prohibition of violence and presupposes, in both Article 51 of the UN Charter and customary international law, an armed attack. What the concept means when the attack consists of a cyber attack is not clear, why there is a need to try to ascertain this. However, no cyber operation has yet amounted to this level, and the area is largely unregulated and dealt with mainly in secondary legal sources. This essay is therefore focused on the criteria of this assessment and the threshold for an armed cyber attack. Another relevant criterion for the use of self-defense is the requirement of immediacy regarding the response. This criterion allows a flexible time span of up to several months. Due to the distinctive traits of a cyber operation, there is a potential risk that the duration of time from the attack to the self-defense will be so prolonged that the self-defense becomes an illegal act of retaliation. The hypothesis in question is largely unaccounted for why this will be investigated, along with a descripiton of the criteria for self-defence and how they are affected by the cyber element.

The criteria for an armed cyber attacks vary depending on whether one takes into account the effects of the attack or the target for it. The International Court of Justice has ruled that only the most grave forms of violence, with a certain "scale and effect" and with an intensity beyond "mere frontier incidents” may constitute such an attack. The impact must correspond to a conventional armed attack and be substantial, causing either death or injuries to humans. Some scholars also accept extensive property destruction, especially in the case of so-called critical infrastructure. Regarding the hypothesis about the requirement of immediacy it is undeniably affected by a cyber element. The performance of virtually all the conditions for self-defense is protracted as a result. From the difficulties in identifying that one is the subject of an armed attack to determining the origin of it and whether military force is necessary. However, the conclusion is that it is considered unlikely that the right of self-defense in a cyber context is made impossible, in part because the broad interpretation of the condition in these cases may be applied even more flexibly.},
  author       = {Södergren, Sarah},
  keyword      = {Folkrätt,självförsvar,väpnat angrepp,cyberattack,omedelbarhet,public international law,self-defence,armed attack,cyber attack,immediacy},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Hämndaktion eller legitimt självförsvar? - om självförsvarsrätten vid väpnade cyberangrepp och omedelbarhetsrekvisitets påverkan på dess laglighet},
  year         = {2016},
}