International Law & Military Operations (InterMil)

This research project provides research-based public-sector consultancy within the field of military studies. In collaboration with the Centre for Military Studies and the Royal Danish Defence College, the InterMil team examines questions of international law of particular relevance for the Danish Defence and Danish decision makers. All of InterMil’s activities are governed by the UCPH’s rules and guidelines for independent research and good scientific practice.

War Drone

Background: In 2019, the Faculty of Law (in collaboration with the Royal Danish Defence College) entered into an agreement with the Centre for Military Studies, UCPH on strategic research and research-based public-sector consultancy within the field of military studies (1.8 mio DKK pr. year for 5 years). The agreement is part of the implementation of the Danish Defence Budget 2018-2023, which calls for an “increased focus on the challenges to international law associated with participation in international operations, cyber, drones and high tech and electronic warfare”.








1. International law and cyber operations below the threshold of warfare

The cyber domain has increasingly become a major arena for hostile interactions between states. While most conflicts in this arena fall short of warfare, they nevertheless pose a significant challenge and carry the potential of creating major financial, political, and security problems, especially for smaller, technologically advanced states like Denmark. In recent years, we have seen multiple instances of foreign interference in national elections by use of cyber means, and we continue to see significant activity in the realm of cyber espionage. Accordingly, states like Denmark need to consider how best to approach such problems, and how to deal with potential conflicts in the cyber domain. Denmark also needs to assess how to counter hostile efforts in this domain while remaining within the boundaries of international law.


For more information, please contact: Marc Schack and Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen 

2. State responsibility in partnered operations

Many states, including Denmark, currently participate in international cooperation, which entails the risk of a number of states jointly violating international law, or of one state contributing to a breach of international law committed by other states. Questions concerning the division of state responsibility under international law become relevant, not least, when Danish forces participate in international military operations. Under this research theme, InterMil will follow the development of the international legal norms governing state responsibility, covering both collaboration between states and collaboration between a state and non-state actors.


For more information, please contact: Cornelius Wiesener and Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen

3. New military technology

Under this heading, InterMil will examine a number of international legal challenges that arise from the development of new, advanced military technology, which in many respects differ substantially from more conventional weapons. This research theme will inter alia examine how the existing weapons and arms control regimes apply to new kinds of weapons, such as autonomous weapons systems, cyber weapons, and electronic weapons, and assess the prospect of new international legal norms tailored to govern such new kinds of weapons. Among the pressing issues is how the duty to conduct reviews of weapons according to Article 36 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions applies vis-à-vis autonomous weapons systems and cyber weapons.


For more information, please contact: Iben Yde and Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen 

4. Military operations at sea

Denmark’s active participation in a number of international military operations at sea during the past two decades has raised a number of international legal questions. The interplay between e.g. the Law of the Sea, International Human Rights Law, and International Humanitarian Law provides for a complex legal framework, and new challenges regularly arise due to developments in state practice and new technologies (e.g. unmanned an autonomous maritime systems) as well as changing threats and commercial interests. InterMil will study the possibilities and challenges in relation to different kinds of military operations at sea, which arise from the dynamic, ongoing development of the international legal norms governing this area.


For more information, please contact: Iben Yde and Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen

5. Developments of International Law in relation to the War in Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has already had a significant impact on the interpretation and application of a number of international legal rules, and the conflict will presumably give rise to further developments in significant areas of international law. Under this research theme, InterMil will examine the most central international legal questions raised by the ongoing conflict.


For more information, please contact: Astrid Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, Sorcha MacLeod, Marc Schack and Cornelius Wiesener 




















As a part of the InterMil project, the Faculty of Law and the Royal Danish Defence College will host a number of conferences, workshops and seminars. Upcoming events will be announced here and on Faculty calendar

Previous events










The InterMil team organizes International Law Breakfast Briefings with a view to providing an opportunity for researchers, practitioners and students with an interest in international law to meet on a regular basis and exchange research, experience and views.

For more information and an updated program of the International Law Breakfast briefing.









Internal researchers

Name Title Image
Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, Astrid Associate Dean of Research Billede af Kjeldgaard-Pedersen, Astrid
MacLeod, Sorcha Associate Professor Billede af MacLeod, Sorcha
Schack, Marc Associate Professor Billede af Schack, Marc
Wiesener, Cornelius Assistant Professor - Tenure Track Billede af Wiesener, Cornelius
nvs417, Jens Elo Rytter Professor Billede af nvs417, Jens Elo Rytter


PI Associate Professor
Marc Schack

South Campus 
Karen Blixens Plads 16
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Phone: +45 35 33 67 27

Questions about the InterMil project can be addressed to:

InterMil Update No. 21

InterMil Update No. 07

InterMil Update No. 06