The Tallinn Manual and International Cyber Security Law

Part of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law book series (YIHL, volume 15)


The Tallinn Manual is a consensus academic work identifying the lex lata applicable to cyber warfare. It focuses on the jus ad bellum and on the jus in bello applicable to State conduct in and through cyberspace and, thus, constitutes a rather selective or sectorial approach to cyber security. Although cyber security is highly dependent upon a public-private cooperation and although it is predominantly challenged by cybercrime, the Tallinn Manual’s approach is justified by the fact that there is a genuinely military dimension of cyberspace. The Tallinn Manual is not an obstacle to a coherent approach to cyber security but rather an important first step in the development of international cyber security law as a distinct branch of international law.


Tallinn Manual Cyber Cyber security Cyber warfare International law Armed conflict Humanitarian law Fragmentation of international law 


  1. Byers M, Chesterman S (2003) Changing the Rules about Rules? Unilateral Humanitarian Intervention and the Future of International Law. In: Holzgrefe J, Keohane R (eds.) (2003) Humanitarian Intervention, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 177–203.Google Scholar
  2. Clausewitz C (1832/34) Vom Kriege, Book I, Section 24.Google Scholar
  3. Cyberspace Policy Review (2009) Cyberspace Policy Review: Assuring a Trusted and Resilient Information and Communications Infrastructure Accessed 22 May 2013.
  4. DoD (Department of Defense U.S) (July 2011) Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace Accessed 22 May 2013.
  5. DoD (Department of Defense U.S) (November 2011) Cyberspace Policy Report - A Report to Congress Pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, Section 934 Accessed 22 May 2013.
  6. Doswald-Beck L (ed.) (1995) San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  7. Ducheine P, Voetelink J, Stinissen J, Gill T (2012) Towards a Legal Framework for Military Cyber Operations. In: Ducheine P, Osinga F, Soeters J (ed) (2012) Cyber Warfare: Critical Perspectives. T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague, pp 101–128.Google Scholar
  8. EU (2013) Draft Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union: An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace. Brussels.Google Scholar
  9. Franck T (2003) Interpretation and Change in the Law of Humanitarian Intervention. In: Holzgrefe J, Keohane R (eds.) (2003) Humanitarian Intervention. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge pp 204–231.Google Scholar
  10. HPCR (Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research) (2009) Manual on International Law Applicable to Air and Missile Warfare. Bern.Google Scholar
  11. Henkin L, Wedgwood R, Charney J, Chinkin C, Falk R, Franck T, Reisman W (1999) 93 AJIL, pp 824–862.Google Scholar
  12. Lynn W (2010) Defending an New Domain. 89 Foreign Affairs, pp 97–108.Google Scholar
  13. Pellet A (2006) Article 38. In: Zimmermann A, Tomuschat C, Öllers-Frahm K (ed) The Statute of the International Court of Justice—A Commentary, Oxford University Press, pp 677–792 Accessed 22 May 2013.
  14. Schmitt M (2013) Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. Cambridge University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  15. U.S. President (2011) International Strategy for Cyberspace. Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  16. White House (2012) Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense. Accessed 22 May 2013.
  17. Wingfield T (2000) The Law of Information Conflict: National Security Law in Cyberspace. Aegis Research Corp, Falls Church.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Naval War CollegeNewportUSA

Personalised recommendations