Difference between revisions of "Scenario 10: Legal review of cyber weapons"

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The analysis in this scenario examines State obligations to conduct a weapons review with respect to cyber capabilities during peacetime. In particular, it considers whether malware capable of physical destruction qualifies as a weapon that is inherently indiscriminate and therefore prohibited by IHL.
 
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In the present scenario, the malware developed by State A would qualify as a “cyber weapon” due to its ability to produce physical destruction, which is an effect that qualifies as “violence against the adversary”.<ref>Art 49(1) AP I.</ref> State A would accordingly be under a duty to ensure that the use of this malware complies with its international obligations. This is so irrespective of whether State A is currently involved in any armed conflict or not. If State A has ratified Additional Protocol I, its duties would additionally extend to conducting a formal legal review, which would include the assessment of the malware’s compliance with all applicable rules of international law.