Are autonomous weapon systems the subject of article 36 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions ?
by Thompson Chengeta
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UC Davis journal of international law and policy, Vol. 23, issue 1, 2016, p. 65-99
States have an obligation to conduct a legal review of all new weapons to ascertain their legality and to determine whether their use will in all or some circumstances violate international law. This paper first asks whether fully autonomous weapon systems are stricto sensu weapons for the purposes of conducting the legal review as required by Article 36 of API to the Geneva Conventions. Secondly, it discusses whether fully AWS are within the confines of the basic rules of weapons law - that is, the rule proscribing weapons that are indiscriminate in nature and weapons that cause superfluous harm or unnecessary suffering.