Taking Humans Out of the Loop: Implications for International Humanitarian Law

Journal of Law Information and Science, Vol. 21, 2011

University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-21

14 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2011 Last revised: 8 Aug 2015

Markus Wagner

University of Warwick - School of Law

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Written as a comment to Brendan Gogarty’s and Meredith Hagger’s 2008 article entitled The Laws of Man over Vehicles Unmanned: The Legal Response to Robotic Revolution on Sea, Land and Air, this brief article explores the international humanitarian law implications of the growing trend toward the deployment of autonomous weapon systems. It argues that while technological development has been impressive and continues to advance at a rapid pace, computer technology’s ability to make qualitative determinations is structurally difficult, if not impossible. In light of this, the deployment of fully autonomous weapon systems is illegal, quite apart from the ethical and political challenges that this development presents.

Keywords: international humanitarian law, IHL, law of war, robotics, proportionality, distinction

Suggested Citation

Wagner, Markus, Taking Humans Out of the Loop: Implications for International Humanitarian Law (2011). Journal of Law Information and Science, Vol. 21, 2011; University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1874039

Markus Wagner (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - School of Law ( email )

Gibbet Hill Road
Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

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