Doctoral and Postdoctoral Research Summary of Dr. Thibault Moulin

By: Thibault Moulin

My principal research interest lies in the field of new technologies and their regulation in international law. My PhD thesis, written at the Universities of Manchester and Grenoble-Alpes, explored the application of international rules to cyber-espionage. Thanks to a method inspired by the rules of interpretation contained in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and the ILC’s draft conclusions on the Identification of Customary International Law, I found that cyber-espionage per se did not violate the rules of territorial sovereignty, non-intervention, and the prohibition on the use of force. I also assessed that cyber-espionage was not contrary to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the Constitution of the ITU. Similarly, I reached the conclusion that most of jus in bello was not applicable in cyberspace, while no new customary rule – specific to cyber-espionage – actually existed. However, I found an incompatibility between diplomatic espionage and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

I am currently working on a postdoctoral project at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem focusing on the regulation of human enhancement experiments in a military context. These technologies, which allow soldiers to enhance their capacities, pose new challenges to international law. There is actually no explicit rule on human enhancement, and for years experiments on human subjects have only been regulated in wartime. The entry into force of the ICCPR in 1976 did not change much, as the emphasis was placed on the consent of the subject. The respect of human rights in the medical area was the subject of increased interest in the 1990s, when the Oviedo Convention defined human rights in the application of biology and medicine. A more specific document in terms of experiments on humans was adopted in 2005: the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, concerning Biomedical Research. The protocol includes rules related to consent, risk/benefit, etc. However, it has been adopted by only 11 parties.