Autonomous Weapons and Their Compliance with International Humanitarian Law (LLM Thesis)

Traditional Journal of Law

124 Pages Posted: 2 May 2022

Date Written: October 30, 2018


This research will firstly, try to analyze as well try to bring light on the recent entry of autonomous weapons together with the issues pertaining to the usage of these lethal weapons and the compliance of these A.I based fully autonomous weapons with the laws, rules and principle of war including their compliance with international humanitarian law. These weapons are fully automatic and autonomous skilled with acquiring target without human emotion or cultural limitations. These weapons are capable of selecting the target and executing the targets on their own, without any human interference. It can be enabled to assess the situational setting on a combat zone and to make a decision on the required attack according to the processed information.

These artificial intelligence-based weapons totally lack all the characteristic of human intelligence and decisions that make humans subject and accountable to rules and norms. Recently, the usage and deployment of these AI machines had posed threat to the norms and principle of laws of war, they have posed the fundamental challenge to the protection of civilians and to comply with the principle of international humanitarian law such as principle of distinction, principle of proportionality, principle of Military Necessity and Article 36 of additional protocol-I to Geneva conventions of 1949 etc. As autonomous weapons are not able to distinguish between soldiers and civilians they create a serious issue of whether they should be banned or not. Secondly, will tryto attempt and explain the question of responsibility for usingautonomous weapons, An autonomous weapon does not have agency, moral or otherwise, and subsequently cannot be held accountable for its actions. Moreover, if autonomous weapons were used in limited situations in the belief that they could function with discrimination, it would be problematic to choose exactly who was accountable for

Keywords: autonomous weapons, IHL

Suggested Citation

Khan, Asif, Autonomous Weapons and Their Compliance with International Humanitarian Law (LLM Thesis) (October 30, 2018). Traditional Journal of Law, Available at SSRN:

Asif Khan (Contact Author)

University of Sialkot ( email )


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics