Russian Cyberattacks Need an International Criminal Court Response

International law needs to keep pace with the changing nature of warfare. The ICC is best placed to take action.

  • Given that the International Criminal Court has had jurisdiction over war crimes committed in Ukraine since 2014, the court’s Prosecutor has an opportunity to advance the laws of armed conflict by launching an unprecedented legal case: the first for cyber war crimes.
    Such a case could play an important role in ensuring that international law keeps pace with technological advances.
  • As argued in an Article 15 communication recently submitted to the ICC Prosecutor by the University of California Berkeley Human Rights Center, at least two incidents of Russian cyberattacks against Ukraine’s power grid in December 2015 and 2016, which predate the most recent invasion, could be charged under the Rome Statute for the war crime of attacking civilian objects.
  • Pursuing these charges, along with any additional cyberattacks since the start of this year that meet the requisite threshold, would be an important step towards modernizing international law and accountability mechanisms.

Read more via CEPA

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