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Cybersecurity regulation and governance

Research by Professor Nicholas Tsagourias


Professor Nicholas Tsagourias's work focuses on cyberspace and international law with a specific focus on cybersecurity, and the regulation of cyber attacks under the law regulating the use of force and under the law of armed conflict. He also examines forms of cyberspace governance and in particular the application of the principle of sovereignty to cyberspace, the application of the principle of due diligence, the role of the institution of international responsibility in cyberspace and the role of non-state actors in cyberspace. The aim of my research is to put forward a regulatory framework which is compatible with international law but, at the same time, responds to states’ interests and security needs.


As part of his research he participates in the French Government’s project ‘Construire la paix et la sécurité internalionales de la société numérique acteurs publics, acteurs privés; rôles et responsabilités - Building international peace and Security in the digital society" - Public actors, private actors: duties and responsibilities’ leading the cyber governance prong of the project. The project brings together states, enterprises, governmental and non-governmental organizations and civil society to find ways as to how to build peace and security in cyberspace. A closed workshop held in February 2017 at the HQ of the Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d’Information in Paris was followed by a conference in April 2017 at the UNESCO HQ in Paris. The title of the conference was ‘Gouvernance et régulation de la sécurité numérique : quel rôle pour chacun’. Videos of Professor Tsagourias's presentation and of other presentations can be found at here.

Photo of Professor Nicholas TsagouriasCybersecurity is an urgent international and national priority. Legal research is vital in identifying regulatory regimes that can deal effectively with the multifaceted security threats arising in and from cyberspace. I am at the forefront of such research collaborating with other members of SCIEL and with external academic and professional partners. My research has contributed to the academic and policy debates on cybersecurity and is dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of how law applies to and moulds cybersecurity.

Professor Nicholas Tsagourias 

Academic Advice

Professor Tsagourias acted as Academic Advisor to the Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations (CUP, 2017) and currently he acts as Lead Editor on Norm j proposed in UN GGE 2015 Report for the Hague Program for Cyber Norms funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Presentations by Professor Tsagourias

Recent presentations are a paper on The virtues and limitations of cyber due diligence presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Society of International Law (Naples, 2017) ; the paper Cyberspace and Sovereignty presented at the German-Southeast Asian Centre of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance 8th Annual International Conference on The Global Commons and the Governance of Unappropriated Spaces (October 2017, Bangkok); the paper The territorialisation of cyberspace presented at the 7th CILS International Conference on Inter-State Border Affairs, Faculty of Law, Tanjunpura University, Pontianak, Indonesia (October 2017)


Research Handbook on International Law and Cyber SecurityImportant publications are the Research handbook on international law and cyberspace (by Professor Nicholas Tsagourias and Dr Russell Buchan)
Professor Tsagourias acted as Special Editor of the Journal of Conflict and Security Law (issue 3, 2016) on Non-State Actors and Responsibility in Cyberspace: State Responsibility, Individual Criminal Responsibility and Issues of Evidence. The issue contains papers presented at a conference  organised at the University of Sheffield in September 2015. Professor Tsagourias also acted as Special Editor of the Journal of Conflict and Security Law (issue 2 2012) on Cyber War and International Law.