Fundamental Obstacles Facing the Codification of International Law Governing Cyber-Attacks

Document Type : academic


1 Correspondent Author, Master of International Law, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch

2 Ph.D. in Public International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Tehran,


Cyber-attacks are unknown spheres in international law due to the abstract nature of cyber-space and their intangible implications in relation to the objective space. The pursuit of international law in cyber-space, such as the advent of Alice in Wonderland, is full of wonders that, when compared with the world’s objective laws, the correct answer cannot be found for the events that occur within it. This process has led to the emergence of barriers to the development of international law governing cyber-attacks, most of which include the weakness of international legal literature on the concept of cyber-attacks and the weakness of communication between the real world and the cyber/virtual world. Although the principles and rules of international law respond partly to some of the international legal aspects of cyber-crime attacks, disagreement among governments suggests that current responses are inadequate  and inconsistencies prevail. However, two general approaches namely drafting regional and international treaties and confidence-building measures might be introduced in order to overcome the fundamental obstacles that hinder the development of international law governing cyber-attacks, through which international legal literature relating to cyber-attacks could be well-developed.


  • الف. فارسی

    ـ کتاب

    • کمیسیون حقوق بین‌الملل سازمان ملل متحد، مسئولیت بین‌المللی دولت؛ متن و شرح مواد کمیسیون حقوق بین‌الملل، ترجمه: علیرضا ابراهیم­گل، چاپ سوم، شهر دانش، 1390.


    ـ مقاله

    • آهنی امینه، محمد و فاطمه زهرا فتح‌اللهی؛ «حقوق بین‌الملل مدرن در مواجهه با جنگی پست­مدرن (نبرد سایبری)»، راهبرد، سال بیست­وسوم، پاییز 1393، شماره 72.
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    • ___________­­_؛ «ظرفیت‌سنجی بند 4 ماده 2 منشور ملل متحد در قبال حملات سایبری از نظرگاه حقوق بین‌الملل»، مجموعه مقالات همایش هفتادمین سالگرد تأسیس سازمان ملل متحد (1394: انجمن ایرانی مطالعات سازمان ملل متحد و دانشکده روابط بین‌الملل وزارت امور خارجه)، اداره نشر وزارت امور خارجه، 1396.
    • کیهانلو، فاطمه و وحید رضادوست؛ «حملات سایبر به مثابه توسل به زور در سیاق منشور سازمان ملل متحد»، فصلنامه تحقیقات حقوقی، شماره 69، 1394.


    ب. انگلیسی

    - Books

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    - Articles

    • Ashley Deeks, “Unwilling or Unable: Toward a Normative Framework for Extraterrotial Self-Defense”, Virginia Journal of International Law, Vol. 52, 2012.
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    - Case Law

    • ICTY, Prosecutor v. Dusko Tadic, Decision on the Defence Motion for Interlocutory Appeal on Jurisdiction, 1995.
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    - Instruments

    • Convention on Rights and Duties of States (Montevideo Convention), 1933.
    • Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, Art. 1(2), 12 December, 1977, 1125 U.N.T.S.3.
    • Wales Declaration, issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Wales, 2014.
    • North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 1949.


    - Reports

    • “How is the Term ‘Armed Conflict’ Defined in International Humanitarian Law?”, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Opinion Paper, March 2008.
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    - Thesis

    • ÖyküIrmakkesen, “The Notion of Armed Attack under the UN Charter and the Notion of International Armed Conflict – Interrelated or Distinct?”, LL.M. Paper written under the supervision of Professor Marco Sassòli, Geneva Academy, August 2014.

    - Websites


    ج. فرانسوی

    - Chapitre dans le livre

    • Djamchid Momtaz, L’Évolution du Droit International Humanitaire Applicable à la Conduite des Hostilities, in: Conduct of Hostilities: the Practice, the Law and the Future (37th Round Table on Current Issues of International Humanitarian Law), International Institute of Humanitarian Law, 2015.