At the invitation of the JASON Institute, Dr. Aaron Matta, Senior Researcher under the Rule of Law Program, provided a lecture during its Jubilee Conference on “Hybrid Warfare, Hybrid Responses?” on Wednesday 8 October.
Fellow conference speakers included experts in the fields of economics, international relations, journalism, and the military, such as Rio Praaning Prawira Adiningrat, Secretary General and Board Member of PA International; Hans Laroes, Chairman of the Dutch Press Council; Rear Admiral Pieter Bindt, Director of the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service; and Dr. Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO.
The conference centered around the conflict in Ukraine and alleged involvement of the Russian Federation. Russia has been accused of providing clandestine support, and conducting special forces operations and information warfare; a process which has been dubbed by some as “hybrid warfare”. To clarify what hybrid warfare encompasses and how to respond to this phenomenon, each speaker delivered a lecture on the topic from the perspective of their respective fields of expertise.
In his lecture on the legal aspects of hybrid warfare, Dr. Matta illustrated the functioning of the collective security system under the UN Security Council and the role of regional organization in the Ukrainian crisis, as well as the difficulties faced in realizing an effective legal solution. He proceeded to analyze the alleged involvement of the Russian Federation in the Ukrainian conflict and possible legal implications. For this purpose, he drew a comparison with the Nicaragua case of the ICJ regarding state support to armed groups and military movements on and near foreign territory. He concluded his lecture by analyzing the situation in Ukraine from the perspective of human rights and individual criminal responsibility, and exploring possible roles for the European Court of Human Rights and the ICC.
Having gathered the different perspectives on hybrid warfare, the stage was set for a discussion by a panel of experts, in which these perspectives were combined and several responses to hybrid warfare were proposed and discussed.