The Yale law journal, Vol. 124, no. 4, January-February 2015, p. 1309-1325
The Comment proceeds in three Parts. Part I defines fully autonomous weapons (FAWs) and introduces the legal and ethical issues surrounding these weapons. Part II draws on the history of attempts to regulate weapons systems, including landmines, to explain why regulation is the correct response to FAWs. Part III develops a framework based on the 1996 CCW Amended Protocol on the use of landmines to guide the use of FAWs. Though it is difficult to develop standards for such novel weapons, the momentum around a preemptive ban makes it important to consider whether regulation might instead be an effective response to FAWs. By demonstrating that existing frameworks are capable of regulating FAWs, this Comment aims to integrate FAWs into current debates in international law and to dispel the notion that these weapons raise wholly unique legal challenges.