Why this course?

Master the fundamentals of international cyber law as you watch recorded lectures by the world's leading scholars in the field; meet with the instructors and fellow participants in live sessions; and complete the course with a University of Reading Executive Education certificate.

Hear from the Cyber Law International Academy team why you should take this course


    Online. Complete the majority of the requirements on your own schedule over fourteen weeks. Log on at designated times for live sessions with faculty and fellow participants. Weekly average time commitment of 2 hours.


    Government officials working in cyber affairs, including lawyers, diplomats, policy makers, cyber operators; staff of international organizations and NGOs; employees of technology companies; attorneys; international law scholars and students.


    The next cohort will begin on 1 September 2024. Registration opens on 1 July.


Michael Schmitt

Professor Michael Schmitt is the Director of Legal Affairs at Cyber Law International. He is also Professor of Public International Law at the University of Reading, the G. Norman Distinguished Scholar at the Lieber Institute of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar and Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Texas, Charles H. Stockton Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the United States Naval War College’s Stockton Center for International Law, and Senior Fellow at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

Marko Milanovic

Professor Marko Milanovic is of-counsel with Cyber Law International. He is also Professor of Public International Law at the University of Reading, Senior Fellow at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, and co-editor of EJILTalk, the blog of the European Journal of International Law. Professor Milanovic has held visiting professorships at Michigan Law School, Columbia Law School, Deakin Law School, the University of the Philippines College of Law, and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He has served as counsel and advisor in proceedings before the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Constitutional Court of Serbia.

Course Features

Expect all this and more from the leading University of Reading certified course in international cyber law. You will have fourteen weeks to complete the coursework. The sessions are split into two blocks, with each of the study periods ending with two live sessions with the faculty.

  • World-renowned faculty – learn from the leading experts in international cyber law

  • Independent learning – recorded lectures on topics ranging from sovereignty to the law of armed conflict, split into chunks and concluding with multiple choice tests for a self-paced and structured learning experience

  • Live sessions – meet with the professors twice for practical case study sessions as well as for two roundtable discussions

  • Complimentary e-copy of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law of Cyber Operations (value 69.99 USD) – receive the key reference source in international cyber law

  • Certified by the University of Reading – upon successful completion of the course, receive an executive education certificate of completion

  • Community building – meet colleagues working in international cyber affairs from around the world

Course Curriculum

    1. Part 1: Learning Objectives

    2. Part 2: History of International Cyber Law

    3. Part 3: Debate on International Cyber Law at the United Nations

    4. Part 4: Sources of International Cyber Law

    5. Part 5: Treaties as a Source of International Cyber Law

    6. Part 6: Treaty Interpretation Rules

    7. Part 7: Custom as a Source of International Cyber Law

    8. Part 8: Crystallisation Versus Interpretation of Customary Cyber Law

    9. Part 9: Subsidiary Sources of International Cyber Law

    10. Part 10: Is "Soft Law" a Source of International Cyber Law?

    11. Part 11: International Cyber Law, Summary

    12. Part 12: Enforcement of International Cyber Law

    13. Part 13: UN Groups of Governmental Experts & Open-Ended Working Groups

    14. Part 14: Confidence-Building Measures for Cyberspace

    15. Test Your Knowledge

    1. Part 1: Learning Objectives

    2. Part 2: Definition of Sovereignty

    3. Part 3: Is Cyberspace a Global Common?

    4. Part 4: Does Sovereignty Apply in Cyberspace and If So, Who Must Respect It?

    5. Part 5: When Do Cyber Operations Violate Sovereignty?

    6. Part 6: Cyber Operations That Breach Territorial Integrity and Inviolability

    7. Part 7: Cyber Operations That Breach Territorial Integrity and Inviolability, Examples

    8. Part 8: Cyber Operations That Interfere With or Usurp Inherently Governmental Functions

    9. Part 9: Sovereignty Violations in Cyberspace, Czech Republic Example

    10. Part 10: Status of Sovereignty as a Rule of International Law in the Cyber Context

    11. Part 11: Unsettled Issues

    12. Part 12: Cyber Operations Against Sovereign Immune Platforms

    13. Part 13: Derivative Principles

    14. Test Your Knowledge

    1. Part 1: Learning Objectives

    2. Part 2: Definition of the Due Diligence Obligation

    3. Part 3: State Views on Due Diligence in the Cyber Context

    4. Part 4: Due Diligence Principle Deconstructed

    5. Part 5: Geography: Where Does a State Bear the Due Diligence Obligation?

    6. Part 6: Threshold of Harm – What Effects Must the Target State Suffer?

    7. Part 7: Threshold of Harm Cont’d – What Effects Must the Target State Suffer?

    8. Part 8: Territorial State's Knowledge of Malicious Cyber Operations

    9. Part 9: Conduct Required of a "Diligent" State – Temporal Factor

    10. Part 10: Conduct Required of a "Diligent" State – Feasibility Factor

    11. Part 11: Remaining Issues

    12. Part 12: Policy Relevance of the Due Diligence Obligation in Cyberspace

    13. Test Your Knowledge

    1. Part 1: Learning Objectives

    2. Part 2: Legal Basis of the Non-Intervention Principle

    3. Part 3: Does the Prohibition of Intervention Apply in Cyberspace?

    4. Part 4: Why is the Prohibition Relevant in Cyberspace and Why Can It Be Difficult to Apply?

    5. Part 5: Non-Intervention as an Inter-State Rule and Its Elements

    6. Part 6: Definition of Internal or External Affairs

    7. Part 7: Definition of Coercion

    8. Part 8: Two Different Concepts of Coercion

    9. Part 9: Examples of Coercive Cyber Operations?

    10. Part 10: Failed Cyber Intervention? Threatened Cyber Intervention? Consensual Intervention?

    11. Part 11: Was Stuxnet Prohibited Intervention?

    12. Part 12: Interference in US 2016 Presidential Elections as Prohibited Intervention?

    13. Part 13: Was Wannacry Prohibited Intervention?

    14. Part 14: Final Thoughts

    15. Test Your Knowledge

    1. Part 1: Learning Objectives

    2. Part 2: Definition of Use of Force and the Prohibition’s Applicability to Cyber Operations

    3. Part 3: Legal Bases for Lawfully Using (Cyber) Force

    4. Part 4: Cyber Operations as Uses of Force

    5. Part 5: Can Cyber Operations with Non-Physical Effects Amount to a Use of Force?

    6. Part 6: Can an Unintentional Cyber Operation Qualify as a Use of Force?

    7. Part 7: Threat of a Cyber Use of Force

    8. Test Your Knowledge

About This Course

  • 200 lessons
  • 14 weeks

Watch a sample lesson

Participant Testimonials

Vafa Izadinia, Head of Information Security, Global Non-Profit Organization (Cohort 1)

"The International Law of Cyber Operations Executive Course was exceptional, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It was an absolute delight to participate in. The creators of the course material and the professors delivering the lectures were clearly subject matter experts, and their expertise shone through in their ability to structure the course content and explain complex topics in a clear and concise manner. The lectures were engaging and provided valuable insights. Overall, I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to gain knowledge and skills in the nascent field of International Cyber Law. It truly exceeded my expectations."

Shamzarina binti Abdul Razak, National Cyber Security Agency, Malaysia (Cohort 3)

"This short course really helped me gain a thorough understanding of international cyber law. As a participant with no legal background, it was extremely beneficial in my daily tasks in preparing cybersecurity policies for my country."

Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Quinto, Philippine Army Cyber Battalion (Cohort 3)

"As a Military Officer and Cyber Operator, and soon to be a planner in higher echelon, this course is very relevant and responsive to the current cyber operating environment. Going back to the basics, to quote Sun Tzu, "Know Your Enemy and Know Yourself". On that premise, you need to know how attractive you look through the lens of the hacker or threat actors from the outside (Attack Surface, Digital Footprint, Weaknesses, Path to Attack). The course illuminated me to understand and identify what do we have (cyber capabilities "weapons" in the conduct of cyber operations), and more importantly the deployment of such capabilities in consideration of the international laws, domestics laws among others. On the other hand, the enemy might refer to the state or non-state actors, that might conduct offensive operations. You need to know what you are up against (Cyber Intelligence). And dealing on them requires a appropriate legal actions or other instruments of power (Diplomacy, Information, Military and Economy). The course in general is vital for senior officials in order to provide just and necessary actions in times of peace, war or crisis. Be it in cyber or in kinetic threats/attacks. I would like to thank the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the sponsorship. I am truly grateful and in deep appreciation. My snappiest salute to CLI Academy!"

Captain Khalifa Alkuwari, Ministry of Interior, Qatar and PhD candidate, University of Bradford, UK (Cohort 3)

"As a recent participant in the International Law of Cyber Operations Executive Course, I am delighted to share my experience. This course has been a transformative journey for me, broadening my understanding and deepening my appreciation of the International Law of Cyber Operations. The comprehensive curriculum and interactive and engaging teaching methods made complex concepts approachable and enjoyable. One of the most significant aspects for me was the practical application of the course material. The real-world examples and case studies provided valuable insights that I can directly apply in my current role in my military capacity and as a PhD candidate in the field of international cyber law. The course has not only enhanced my professional skills but also ignited a deeper interest in how to apply international law to cyber operations. I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to interact with diverse participants. The exchange of ideas and perspectives enriched the learning experience significantly. I highly recommend this course to anyone looking to understand the International Law of Cyber Operations comprehensively. It's an investment that pays dividends in knowledge, skills, and professional growth."

Alex Preve, Associate Attorney, Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP, San Francisco, California, USA (Cohort 3)

"You will come away from this course with a comprehensive and deep understanding of how the rules of international law apply in cyberspace and (just as importantly) the areas where the law is still unsettled. The lectures are fascinating and easy to digest, and the roundtables and live seminars help cement your knowledge as you apply the rules of international law to fictional cyber incident scenarios. This course is essential for international law practitioners."

Goran Sandić, Researcher at University of Belgrade and Coordinator at Belgrade International Law Circle (Cohort 3)

"I am thoroughly impressed! The course masterfully bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application and the lecturers help you realize how applicable cyber law is! This course is not just an educational experience but an essential resource for anyone looking to navigate the complex and evolving - and very interesting - landscape of international law & cyber."

Lieutenant Colonel Yanin Surapanpairoge, Chief, Policy and Plans Section, Cyber Centre, Ministry of Defence, Thailand (Cohort 3)

"This course was very helpful for me and my organization as I can apply all of my new knowledge to cybersecurity best practices. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take this course."

Have questions? Is your organisation interested in supporting our scholarship programme?

Reach out to us at [email protected]