The possible introduction of fully autonomous weapons systems within the next decades poses problems with regard to the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, particularly the obligation to distinguish between military objectives and civilian persons and objects, the prohibition of attacks on civilian persons and objects, the principle of proportionality and the precautionary principles in attacks. Article 36 of the first Additional Protocol of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions does not support a full prohibition of autonomous weapons systems. This article analyses the (in)compatibility of autonomous weapons with these fundamental principles of humanitarian law and critically discusses suggestions on how autonomous weapons can act in conformity with the line, taking into account that the benchmark for judging lawful behavior of autonomous weapons will pose a particular problem.
By entering this website, you consent to the use of technologies, such as cookies and analytics, to customise content, advertising and provide social media features. This will be used to analyse traffic to the website, allowing us to understand visitor preferences and improving our services. Learn more