Lookup NU author(s): Elliot Winter
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2020.
For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
The law of armed conflict requires ‘distinction’ between civilians and combatants and provides that only the latter may be targeted. However, for proper implementation, distinction requires advanced observation and recognition abilities as well as the capacity to exercise judgement based on situational awareness. While the observation and recognition abilities of machines may now surpass those of humans, the capacity of machines to exercise judgement remains significantly more limited than our own. Consequently, this paper contends that the deployment of ‘autonomous weapons’ based on current levels of technological sophistication would be incompatible with distinction and that, as such, their use in conflict would be unlawful.
Author(s): Winter E
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: International and Comparative Law Quarterly
Print publication date: 01/10/2020
Online publication date: 07/10/2020
Acceptance date: 02/04/2018
Date deposited: 27/08/2020
ISSN (print): 0020-5893
ISSN (electronic): 1471-6895
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Altmetrics provided by Altmetric