Cyber Warfare and the Crime of Aggression: The Need for Individual Accountability on Tomorrow’s Battlefield

By: Jonathan A. Ophardt

As cyberspace matures, the international system faces a new challenge in confronting the use of force. Non-State actors continue to grow in importance, gaining the skill and the expertise necessary to wage asymmetric warfare using non-traditional weaponry that can create devastating real-world consequences. The international legal system must adapt to this battleground and provide workable mechanisms to hold aggressive actors accountable for their actions. The International Criminal Court–the only criminal tribunal in the world with global reach–holds significant promise in addressing this threat. The Assembly of State Parties should construct the definition of aggression to include these emerging challenges. By structuring the definition to confront the challenges of cyberspace–specifically non-State actors, the disaggregation of warfare, and new conceptions of territoriality–the International Criminal Court can become a viable framework of accountability for the wars of the twenty-first century.

Cite: 2010 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 003

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