Autonomous weapon systems : the possibility and probability of accountability
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Wisconsin international law journal, Vol. 35, no. 3, 2018, p. 609-642
This paper addresses the challenge of accountability that arises in relation to autonomous weapon systems (AWS), a challenge which focuses on the hypothesis that AWS will make it impossible to identify, hold liable, and punish those responsible for unlawful outcomes that result from their use. After evaluating the evolution of accountability in international law and discussing its relevance in the context of AWS in section I, section II examines the concept of meaningful human control apropos AWS. Section III reviews the potential avenues of accountability attribution which may be available and section IV the feasibility of its assignment in case of commission of crimes impacted by the use of AWS. Based on this analysis, section V comments on whether the alleged AWS-specific accountability gap is real, and if so, whether it is possible to bridge the gap through extant laws or by proposing the development and introduction of a new framework.