Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Cyber warfare and the law of armed conflict

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posted on 2021-11-15, 02:28 authored by Grange, Miranda

This paper discusses cyber warfare and its intersection with the law of armed conflict. Cyberspace creates a unique battlefield with many challenges. This paper tackles four of these challenges: distinguishing warfare acts from criminal activities; what amounts to an armed attack in cyberspace that justifies a State’s right to selfdefence; target distinction; and direct participation in cyber hostilities. It is the author’s determination that the law of armed conflict does apply in cyberspace however two additional changes are needed for the traditional laws to have any practical effect. These two variations include the extension of the traditional criteria of armed attack to include severe data loss as tangible property damage; and reexamining the framework of direct participation.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Name

Master of Law

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure Basic Research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Masters Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law