The Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) held its first CSCAP Study Group Meeting on International Law and Cyberspace at Grand Copthorne Waterfront hotel in Singapore from 26 to 27 February 2019. The meeting was hosted by CSCAP Singapore.
The CSCAP Study Group is co-chaired by CSCAP Singapore, CSCAP Malaysia and CSCAP Japan, mirroring the co-chairs of the ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Security of and in the Use of Information and Communications Technology (ARF ISM-ICT). The Study Group also seeks to build on the work done in 2012 by a prior CSCAP Study Group on Cyber Security.
The one-and-a-half day meeting was attended by over 20 participants, who included experts from various CSCAP member countries and Singapore-based experts on international law and cyberspace. The meeting focused on three main questions: (i) why international law matters in cyberspace and what does international law mean for cyberspace; (ii) why/how is international law in cyberspace relevant to ASEAN and ASEAN member states; and (iii) what are the global challenges to implementing international law in cyberspace.
As a domain expert, Air Commodore (Ret) William Boothby, an Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University, Australia, gave the keynote speech. Air Commodore (Ret) Boothby had served on the drafting committee of the project to produce the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. He spoke of how international law might apply to the topics raised in the Tallinn Manual, such as sovereignty, due diligence, jurisdiction, responsibility, espionage and the use of force.
At the end of the meeting, several areas were identified for further study (such as due diligence, use of force, sovereignty and the need to continue conversations on norms) in preparation for the next study group meeting. The meeting will be hosted by CSCAP Malaysia before the end of the year.