The Oxford Process on International Law Protections in Cyberspace is an initiative of the Oxford Institute on Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, supported by Microsoft and the Government of Japan, that was set in motion in May 2020. At the core of this initiative lies a collaborative effort of international law experts from across the Globe, which is aimed at the identification and clarification of rules of international law applicable in cyberspace in a range of contexts. The first two outputs of the Process addressed the international law protections of the healthcare sector: the Oxford Statement on the International Law Protections Against Cyber Operations Targeting the Health Care Sector and the Second Oxford Statement on International Law Protections of the Healthcare Sector During Covid-19: Safeguarding Vaccine Research. The first Statement focused on States’ obligations to refrain from malicious cyber operations against the healthcare sector and to protect it from a range of online harms, and was signed by over 130 international lawyers and cited as a model of how international law applies in cyberspace during the recent UN Security Council Arria-Formula meeting on the issue. The Second Oxford Statement clarified the extent to which international law protects the development, testing, manufacture, and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, and was signed by over 100 international lawyers and cited by the Acting Assistant Secretary General for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs during the August Security Council Arria-formula meeting ‘Cyber Attacks Against Critical Infrastructure’.

The recently published third Statement of the Process outlines the international legal rules applicable to foreign electoral interference through digital means builds upon the previous findings of the Oxford Process, and clarifies how international rules, principles and norms apply to electoral processes to constrain, prevent or remedy harmful conduct. It received overwhelming support, with over 140 experts in international law becoming signatories.

Dr. de Souza Dias and Dr. Coco will provide insight into the Oxford Process by guiding the attendees through the process of identifying the applicable rules and principles and of drafting the Statements, as well as providing a summary of some of the key substantive findings.

Antonio Coco is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Essex and a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. He holds a PhD in Law from the University of Geneva, an LL.M. from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Catania. Antonio is also the Co-Chair of the Editorial Committee of the Journal of International Criminal Justice, published by Oxford University Press, and is admitted to practice law in Italy.

Talita Dias is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) at the Blavatnik School of Government. Her research focusses on due diligence in cyberspace and atrocity prevention in the digital age. Talita is also a Junior Research Fellow and Lecturer in Criminal Law at St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, as well as a Seminar Leader in Law and Public Policy on the Blavatnik School’s Master of Public Policy programme. She has a DPhil in Law and a Magister Juris degree from the University of Oxford and an LLB from the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE). Talita has previously interned at the International Criminal Court and she is a qualified attorney-in-law in Brazil, where she clerked for a Criminal Appeals Chamber.


The PIL Discussion Group hosts a weekly speaker event and is a key focal point for PIL@Oxford.  Due to the current public health emergency, the PIL Discussion Group series will be held remotely for Michaelmas 2020. Speakers include distinguished international law practitioners, academics, and legal advisers from around the world. Topics involve contemporary and challenging issues in international law.  The speaker will commence at 12:45 and speak for about forty minutes, allowing about twenty-five minutes for questions and discussion. The meeting should conclude before 2:00. 
If you wish to participate in this (remote) seminar, RSVP is necessary. Please complete the form* before noon Wednesday 28 October and prior to the Thursday seminar, you will be sent a link to join.  Practitioners, academics and students from within and outside the University of Oxford are all welcome.

The discussion group’s meetings are part of the programme of the British Branch of the International Law Association and are supported by the Law Faculty and Oxford University Press.

PIL Discussion Group Convenors: Tsvetelina van Benthem and Xiaotian (Kris) Yu

The group typically meets each Thursday during Oxford terms. 

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