Armed Drones and Autonomous Weapon Systems under International Law

Completed in December 2015

This project focused on the international legal implications of the use of armed unmanned vehicles (armed drones) and autonomous weapon systems. It aimed in particular to address the legal and ethical challenges these new technologies pose in relation to the regulation of the use of force.

PROJECT'S DOCUMENTS

TEAM

Picture of Stuart Casey-Maslen

Stuart Casey-Maslen

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Nathalie Weizmann

Picture of Milena Costas

Milena Costas Trascasas

OUTPUT

As part of the project the Geneva Academy and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) organized an expert meeting to discuss armed drones and autonomous weapon systems under international law.

The results of the research were published in November 2014 as Academy Briefing No. 8, Autonomous Weapon Systems under International Law.

This Briefing reviews the legality of using autonomous weapon systems with respect to the law that governs inter-state use of force (jus ad bellum), the international law of law enforcement and international humanitarian law, notably in regard to the rules on distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack. It also examines the international obligation to conduct a legal review of autonomous weapon systems and the broader issues of accountability under domestic and international law.

Publications

Cover of the book Weapons under International Human Rights Law

Weapons under International Human Rights Law

July 2015

Stuart Casey-Maslen

Cambridge University Press

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Cover of the Briefing No8: Autonomous Weapons Systems Under International Law

Briefing N°8: Autonomous Weapons Systems Under International Law

November 2014

Milena Costas Trascasas, Nathalie Weizmann

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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In Nuclear Weapons under International Law: An Overview (October 2014), the Geneva Academy and the International Law and Policy Institute summarize international law governing nuclear weapons with regard to the inter-state use of force, international humanitarian law, human rights law, disarmament law and environmental law.

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Project

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