The CRASSH conference Ukraine and the Challenges of International Law: Annexation, Aggression, Cyber Warfare (4 December 2017) will serve as a forum for the discussion of the dynamic relationship between the situation in Ukraine and the development of international law, including the stakes of cyber warfare in Ukrainian context and beyond. Convenor Bohdan Tokarskyi from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Slavonic Studies tells us more about this upcoming event.
What is your conference about?
Our conference will address the crises in Ukraine and the major implications that they have had for international relations, cyber security, and, importantly, international law. By crises, we mean the developments that have taken place on the territory of Ukraine since February 2014: the seizure of Crimea, the war in eastern Ukraine, and the cyber attacks against Ukraine’s infrastructure.
What are the big questions addressed by this conference?
In tune with CRASSH’s ethos, the conference is very multidisciplinary. We bring together scholars, international lawyers, civic activists, and practitioners in an attempt to answer these critical questions: How can international law help us make sense of the developments in Ukraine since February 2014? What language can and must we use in our discussions of these developments? How have these crises, in their turn, affected the system of international law itself?
We approach these pressing issues in a comprehensive way. We do not treat the situation in Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, and the cyber sphere as separate, unrelated events. They are inextricably linked and, what is more, they bear consequences for the entire European continent. In the same vein, our conference offers a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
Who will it be of interest to?
Whether you are interested in international relations or cyber security, international law or war studies, Slavonic studies or information policy, the conference will offer you stimulating debate and rich, provocative food for thought. Our panels will be for an urgent discussion of some of the most crucial issues of our time: disinformation, cyber terrorism, ‘hybrid’ war. We enthusiastically welcome students, scholars, and members of the general public alike.
Who are the speakers and what can delegates expect from the conference?
Our speakers are a diverse, distinguished group of experienced practitioners and leading scholars from around the world. They include, for instance, the President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture as well as the Deputy Minister for Information Policy of Ukraine. You can read more about the panellists here.
How did this conference come about?
More than three years on, the ‘frozen’ conflict in Crimea and the ongoing ‘hot’ war in eastern Ukraine have become dangerously normalised. We in the Cambridge Ukrainian Studies community reject this ‘new normal’. While they may have disappeared from news headlines in Great Britain, the crises in Ukraine remain a major threat to European and global security. They have lasting implications for international law. We seek to return a purposeful focus to these crises and, moreover, to learn more broadly from them.