Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Robotics in the Security Sector

69 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2022

See all articles by Thomas Burri

Thomas Burri

University of St. Gallen

Markus Christen

University of Zurich

Date Written: July 19, 2022


This is an expert report addressing the latest developments in robotics in the security sector, including disaster relief and armed conflict, from an ethical and legal perspective. The focus is on autonomous robots. The report is written in German, but a 4 page executive summary explains in detail the seven recommendations the report makes in the light of recent developments. These recommendations inter alia bear on the role of ethics given the stalemate in international humanitarian law on autonomous weapons systems, the adaptation of the Article 36 weapons review due to the dynamic evolution in robotics, and the way the debate about robotics should be led.

Note: Downloadable document is in German.

Keywords: Ethics, robotics, robots, disaster relief, armed conflict, international humanitarian law, human rights, laws of war, autonomous robots, autonomous weapons systems, CCW

Suggested Citation

Burri, Thomas and Christen, Markus, Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Robotics in the Security Sector (July 19, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Thomas Burri (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Bodanstrasse 3
Saint Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000


Markus Christen

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006

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