All the three sources of law have varied levels of normative value in their form, function, and nature of application in international law. Article two of the United Nations charter is of particular value when it comes regulating state actions that tend to violate provisions of this charter. As per article 2(4) of the united nations charter, that all nations should refrain from use of threat or force to violate political independence or territorial integrity, this source should be used codify practices, behaviors, and intentions that nations must adhere to so as to avoid use of force or threat in a manner inconsistent with united nations provisions. The normative value is that this law binds nations against conducting activities harmful to others in a manner inconsistent with purposes of United Nations.
The Tallin manual on international law applicable to cyber operations further highlight contentions on the issue of international law being silent to the domain of cyberspace. Even though it does not bind nations to certain obligations regarding threats and use of methods that infringe territorial integrity, its normative value is about creating general understanding of international laws, as well as their potential adoption into cyberspace. As per article 38(1) of ICJ under general principles of law, any activity that creates presumption of illegality or threats should not be undertaken and nations just as in courts, are allowed to fill any legal gaps to avert non liquet especially on issues not covered by international law. Additionally, the normative value in this source is that it also defines areas not explicitly covered by international laws allowing nations to engage in law making processes to guarantee sustenance of good international relations.
On the other hand, Roscini (2014), outlines that international law is differentiated and most of the time interpreted differently by independent state actors. This is the case being handled in source three regarding sovereignty in the age of cyber so that contentious issues relating to exact application of international law in dynamic cyber environments. The normative value in this law is that it highlights how international legal landscape is evolving, as well as the emergent factors creating the need for laws covering various aspects such as cyber operations. Although this source is not binding any nation per se, the implication is that it has created an additional need to examine the sovereignty principle as outlined in Vienna convention articles 31 and 32 so that cyber operations cannot be a means that nations use to violate national sovereignty.
Even though the above discussed laws differ in form and function when it comes to their application internationally, they have a critical role in development of future international law. Their contribution is based on their essential interpretation of international law, international obligations bestowed on nations, the extent in which international cyber operations need to be conducted, what constitutes the used of force, as well as what constitutes the principle of sovereignty. Using this information, international court of justice has the capacity to shape international law to dynamically address the evolving global operations landscape.
International laws from United Nations through international criminal justice system have highlighted their deficiencies in their legislative scope. The rapidity in which the cyberspace is evolving and the associated complexities demands consideration of alternative law making processes so as to adequately regulate how cyber operations take shape. The current legislative processes in international law are ineffective due to their design where consensus must be sought, of which, is sometimes difficult especially among contending nations or during turbulent political climate within the global landscape; hence, the need for having other processes to create international laws on cyber operations.
The proposed additional process is to involve intergovernmental organs and the private sector to formulate laws that prohibit nations from using force or threats to interfere with sovereignty of other nations in accordance with provisions in the provided sources. Article 13(1)(a) of united nations charter allows this inter-party collaboration to create progressive laws on cyber operations. Also it is envisaged in article 108 of the United Nations charter to have an additional law making process and this one involves private, public, and consensus from governments.
The process begins by forming a convention between the parties to discuss the problem of cyber operations and their ability to violate United Nations provisions, discussion of the elements for regulation via the treaty, codification of the propositions into international law, and finally ratification of the laws so that nations may be bound by them. As outlined in Vienna treaty article 26, this treaty should be binding to all signatories, should be applied in good faith, and should be universally accepted. The process will culminate by requiring nations to further adhere to international laws that help preserve sovereignty of treaties, political independence, and obligation to follow provisions in good faith as defined in 2(1)-(5) of the United Nations charter that outlines principles of how nations should relate with each other in pursuit of their purpose.
In conclusion, international law provides frameworks that nations adhere to so as to shape their relations with each other. Additionally, these regulations oblige nations with responsibilities, behaviors, and codes of conduct that must be exhibited so as not to violate other nation’s sovereignty or threaten their existence. All these frameworks have been captured in United Nations charter, Vienna convention, and other international regulations; however, there is need for additional law making processes to make regulation of cyber operations more effective, elaborate, and widespread in scope despite the complexities of their expectation to work in complex international arenas.