The use of autonomous weapons and the role of the legal advisor
International humanitarian law and the changing technology of war
Leiden ; Boston : M. Nijhoff, 2013
p. 123-150 : tabl.
The first part argues that there is no obvious definition of "autonomous weapons", and therefore general statements about them, including those respecting the role of the legal advisor in their use, must reference a clear definition of the term. The second part of the chapter addresses the question itself : what role will a legal advisor play in the use of autonomous weapons ? The attempt at an answer starts with a brief discussion of the contents of the legal advice. It then moves to the broader discussion - the discussion at the heart of this chapter - of the framework under which such legal advice might be provided. The chapter then approaches the question of legal advice framework from another angle. If autonomous weapons are comparable to existing means and methods of combat, then legal advice frameworks for those means and methods might be applicable. After considering three such "analogues" the author argues that, indeed, many of the weapons across the autonomous weapons spectrum are comparable to existing means and methods of combat that are currently the subject of legal advice.