Grey Zone Conflict and Hybrid Threats: An Era of Legal Competition

The notions of hybrid warfare and hybrid threats, together with the related concept of grey zone warfare, continue to feature prominently in current strategic debates. The purpose of this seminar is to explore the legal dimension of these ideas. Collectively, they draw our attention to a set of legal challenges presented by the use of coercive measures below the threshold of force and armed attack and, more generally, to the hostile instrumentalization of law in pursuit of geopolitical objectives. The seminar will make the case that law is not merely an incidental aspect, but is an integral component, of grey zone and hybrid threats. Competition in the legal domain is unavoidable. This, in turn, calls for the adoption of a legal resilience mindset.

Dr Aurel Sari is an Associate Professor of Public International Law at the University of Exeter. He is the Director of the Exeter Centre for International Law, a Fellow of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and a Fellow of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. Dr Sari’s work focuses primarily on international conflict and security law and the law relating to military operations. He has published widely on the law of armed conflict, status of forces agreements, peace support operations, international human rights law and the legal framework of European security and defence policy. Dr Sari has spoken and written extensively on the topic hybrid warfare, including at the invitation of the Council of Europe, NATO, the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, US EUCOM and US AFRICOM. He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War.

A sandwich lunch will be served at 12.45