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Non-Intervention Thresholds in Cyberspace – In the Shadow of the Sovereignty Debate?

In: Nordic Journal of International Law
Author:
Pia Hüsch Research analyst, Royal United Services Institute (rusi), London, UK

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Abstract

State practice and international legal scholarship have paid detailed attention to the question of how international law can be applied to cyberspace. More specifically, it is the regulation of low-intensity cyber operations under the principle of state sovereignty and in particular the principle vs. rule debate that have been addressed in depth. In contrast, discussions around the principle of non-intervention have not received the same amount of attention from states, and scholarly debates on reinterpreting applicable thresholds have not been mirrored in state statements. This article examines how the discussion on each principle’s application to cyberspace is approached in scholarship and state statements. It compares and contrasts the two approaches and sets out the implications that follow from such approaches, emphasising why Nordic countries should have a particular interest in advancing the discussions on non-intervention thresholds further and how they can bring them out of the shadow of the sovereignty debate.

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