Can the law regulate the humanitarian effects of technologies ?
Routledge handbook of war, law and technology
New York : Routledge, 2019
This chapter focuses on the central tenets of international humanitarian law (IHL). In the context of armed conflict, moral and humanitarian concerns are often raised about the means and methods of war. Historically, where weapon types have already been developed and widely deployed, it has taken a considerable effort over many years to put in place humanitarian-inspired controls. In asking how the possible humanitarian effects of technologies can factor into their governance, this chapter explains to contrast the logic of balancing military necessity and humanity central to IHL against the rationales associated with some past and ongoing efforts to restrict certain weapons. Instead of making a binary split, the purpose is to draw out certain distinctions in order to sharpen the awareness of the choices possible in thinking about the humanitarian effects and how account can be taken in the governance of technology.