The Use of Autonomous Weapon Systems in Armed Conflict: Legality and Challenges for Future Weapon Regulation

Andreas Wilia

Abstract


Abstract

Autonomous Weapon Systems (AWS) has been developed as an alternative weapon system in the battlefield. It has a fundamental difference with other weapon systems which lies in the decision making carried out without human intervention. AWS is able to take decisions about life and death and has been legally, morally and ethically challenged. However, as a smart weapon, it gives significant advantage since it can be deployed in very danger areas for human being in the battlefield for the purpose of self-defense in critical situation. This article argues that AWS is still a conventional weapon and its use cannot be absolutely prohibited even if it is deemed as a vulnerable and destructive weapon which potentially violates international humanitarian law (IHL). AWS can fully comply with IHL basic principles for as long as there is a sufficient legal basis that regulates the limit and legality of its use. Accordingly, as a ‘modern’ smart weapon, this article suggests that the future AWS regulation should be followed by appropriate technical provisions on the AWS’ development, production, ownership, transfer and use in armed conflict.

Keywords: Armed Conflict, Autonomous Weapon Systems, International Humanitarian Law, Weapon Regulation

 

Abstrak

Sistem Senjata Otonom (AWS) telah dikembangkan sebagai sistem senjata alternatif dalam pertempuran dan memiliki perbedaan fundamental dengan sistem senjata lain yaitu, keputusan yang diambil tanpa adanya intervensi manusia. AWS mampu untuk memutuskan hidup dan matinya target kombatan sehingga penggunaannya ditentang bagik secara hukum, moral, dan etika karena berpotensi merusak moral dan etika dalam peperangan. Namun demikian, sebagai senjata modern, AWS memberikan keuntungan yang nyata mengingat AWS dapat ditempatkan di daerah yang berbahaya bagi manusia untuk alasan bela diri dalam situasi yang sangat sulit. Penelitian ini menyatakan bahwa AWS tetap merupakan senjata konvensional yang penggunaannya tidak dapat dilarang secara absolut sekalipun berpotensi menjadi senjata penghancur yang dapat melanggar hukum humaniter. AWS mampu untuk mematuhi prinsip-prinsip dasar hukum humaniter sepanjang pengaturan dan pembatasan penggunaannya diatur dalam instrumen hukum humaniter yang memadai yang hingga saat ini belum tersedia. Dengan demikian,  penelitian ini menyarankan bahwa aturan AWS masa depan harus juga mencakup aturan-aturan teknis tentang pengembangan, pembuatan, kepemilikan, pengalihan serta penggunaan dari AWS dalam sengketa bersenjata.

Kata Kunci: Aturan Senjata, Konflik Bersenjata, Hukum Humaniter Internasional, Sistem Senjata Otonom


Keywords


Armed Conflict; Autonomous Weapon Systems; International Humanitarian Law; Weapon Regulation

Full Text:

PDF

References


Books

Boothby, William H., Conflict Law: The Influence of New Weapons Technology, Human Rights and Emerging Actors, T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague, 2014.

Brehm, Maya, Defending the Boundary: Constraints and Requirements on the Use of Autonomous Weapon Systems under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Geneva, 2017.

Casey-Maslen, Stuart (ed.), Weapons under International Human Rights Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2014.

Department of the Army, Engineering Design Handbook: Army Weapon Systems Analysis, Part Two, US Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command, Virginia, 1979.

Geiß, Robin, The International-Law Dimension of Autonomous Weapons Systems, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Berlin, 2015.

Henckaerts, Jean-Marie and Louise Doswald-Beck, Customary International Humanitarian Law (Volume I: Rules), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005.

Human Rights Watch and International Human Rights Clinic, Losing Humanity: The Case against Killer Robots, Human Rights Watch, United States of America, 2012.

ICRC, A Guide to the Legal Review of New Weapons, Means and Method of Warfare: Measures to Implement Article 36 of Additional Protocol I of 1977, ICRC Mines-Arms Unit, Geneva, 2006.

Krishnan, Armin, Killer Robots: Legality and Ethicality of Autonomous Weapons, Ashgate Publishing Limited, Surrey, 2009.

Olsen, Jan Kyrre Berg (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, 2009.

Sandoz. Yves (et.al) (eds.), Commentary on the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Geneva, 1987.

Sassòli, Marco (et.al.), How Does Law Protect in War? Cases, Documents, and Teaching Materials on Contemporary Practice in International Humanitarian Law, Third Edition, ICRC, Geneva, 2011.

Sassòli, Marco, International Humanitarian Law: Rules, Controversies, and Solutions to Problems Arising in Warfare, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Gloucestershire, 2019.

Slim, Hugo, Humanitarian Ethics: A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disaster, Oxford University Press, New York, 2015.

United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Joint Doctrine Note 2/11, The Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, Shrivenham, 30 March 2011.

United States General Accounting Office, Operation Provide Comfort: Review of U.S. Air Force Investigation of Black Hawk Fratricide Incident (GAO/OSI-98-4), United States General Accounting Office, Washington, D.C., 1997.

Williams, Andrew P. and Paul D. Scharre (eds.), Autonomous Systems: Issues for Defence Policymakers, Autonomous Systems: Issues for Defence Policymakers, NATO Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Virginia, 2015.

XIXth International Red Cross Conference, Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War, ICRC, Geneva, 1956.

Other Documents

Advisory Council on International Affairs and Advisory Committee on Issues of Public International Law Report, “Autonomous Weapon Systems: The Need for Meaningful Human Control”, No. 97 AIV/No. 26 CAVV, October 2015.

Anderson, Kenneth (et.al.), “Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems”, International Law Studies, Vol. 90, 2014.PT Pindad (Persero), “Munisi”, available at: https://www.pindad.com/ammunition.

Anderson, Kenneth and Matthew Waxman, “Law and Ethics for Autonomous Weapon Systems: Why a Ban Won’t Work and How the Laws of War Can”, Jean Perkins Task Force on National Security and Law, Hoover Institution – Stanford University, 2013.

Beer, Yishai, “Humanity Considerations Cannot Reduce War’s Hazards Alone: Revitalizing the Concept of Military Necessity”, European Journal of International Law, Vol. 26, No. 4, 2016.

Bode, Ingvild and Hendrik Huelss, “Autonomous Weapon Systems in Changing Norms in International Relations”, Review of International Studies, Vol. 44, No. 3.

Boulanin, Vincent, “Implementing Article 36 Weapon Reviews in the Light of Increasing Autonomy in Weapon Systems”, SIPRI Insights on Peace and Security, No. 2015/1, 2015.

Cass, Kelly, “Autonomous Weapons and Accountability: Seeking Solutions in the Law of War”, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 1017, 2015.

Chengeta, Thompson, “Are Autonomous Weapon Systems the Subject of Article 36 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions?”, UC Davis Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2017.

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapon (CCW) Meeting of High Contracting Parties, “Report of the 2015 Informal Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS)”, CCW/MSP/2015/3, Geneva – Switzerland, 12-13 November 2015.

Docherty, Bonnie (et.al), “Humanitarian Disarmament: The Way Ahead”, Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy Conference Summary Harvard Law School, Cambridge – United States of America, 5-6 March 2018.

Farrant, James and Christopher M. Ford, “Autonomous Weapons and Weapon Reviews: The UK Second International Weapon Review Forum”, International Law Studies, Vol. 93, 2017.

Feenberg, Andrew, “What is Philosophy of Technology?”, available at: https://www.sfu.ca/~andrewf/books/What_is_Philosophy_of_Technology.pdf.

Fifth Review Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the CCW, “Report of the 2016 Informal Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS)”, CCW/CONF.V/2, Geneva – Switzerland, 12-16 December 2016.

Group of Governmental Experts of the High Contracting Parties to the CCW, “Report of the 2018 Session of the Group of Governmental Experts on Emerging Technologies in the Area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems”, CCW/GGE.1/2018/3, Geneva – Switzerland, 9-13 April 2018 and 27-31 August 2018.

ICRC, “A Guide to the Legal Review of New Weapons, Means and Methods of Warfare: Measures to Implement Article 36 of Additional Protocol I of 1977”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 88, No. 864, 2006.

______________, “New Technologies and Warfare. 7/9 Interview with Marco Sassòli”, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im9U9KR68QI.

______________, “Views of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Autonomous Weapon System”, Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS), Geneva – Switzerland, 11-15 April 2016.

Kahiluoto, Kari, “European Union General Statement at the Third Review Conference of States Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons”, Third Review Conference of States Parties to the CCW, Geneva – Switzerland, 7-17 November 2006.

Ladkin, Peter B. and Jörn Stuphorn, “Two Causal Analyses of the Black Hawk Shootdown during Operation Provide Comfort”, available at: http://rvs.uni-bielefeld.de/publications/Reports/ladkin-SCS03.pdf.

Leys, Nathan, “Autonomous Weapon Systems and International Crisis”, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2018.

NATO Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development, “Precision Guided Munitions: Technology and Operational Aspects”, AGARD-CP-320, Papers Presented at the Guidance and Control Panel 34th Symposium, Norway, 4-7 May 1982.

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, “What is a Chemical Weapon?”, available at: https://www.opcw.org/our-work/what-chemical-weapon.

Price, Harold E. (et.al), “The Contribution of Human Factors in Military System Development: Methodological Considerations”, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Science, Technical Report 476, 1980.

RSL Holdings, “Implications of the Boeing 737 MAX Problem for Autonomous Vehicle Design”, available at: https://rslholdingsinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/RSL-Patent-Offering-Supplemental-Note_3-19-19.pdf.

Sagramsingh, Raine, “Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems: Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy”, Journal of Engineering and Public Policy Washington Internships for Students in Engineering, Vol. 22, 2018.

Sassóli, Marco, “Autonomous Weapon and International Humanitarian Law: Advantages, Open Technical Questions and Legal Issues to be Clarified”, International Law Studies, Vol. 90, 2014.

Scharre, Paul, “Autonomous Weapons and Operational Risk”, Ethical Autonomy Project Center for a New American Security, February 2016.

Schmitt, Michael N. and Jeffrey S. Thurnher, “’Out of Loop’: Autonomous Weapon Systems and the Law of Armed Conflict”, Harvard National Security Journal, Vol. 4, 2013.

Schmitt, Michael N., “Autonomous Weapon Systems and International Humanitarian Law: A Reply to the Critics”, Harvard National Security Journal Features, 2013.

Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute [“SIPRI”], “Implementing Article 36 Weapon Reviews in the Light of Increasing Autonomy in Weapon Systems”, available at: https://www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2015/implementing-article-36-weapon-reviews-light-increasing-autonomy-weapon-systems.

The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, “Reframing Autonomous Weapons Systems”, available at: https://standards.ieee.org/content/dam/ieee-standards/standards/web/documents/other/ead_reframing_autonomous_weapons_v2.pdf.

United Nations General Assembly, “Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution, Christof Heynes”, Human Rights Council, A/HRC/23/47, 9 April 2013.

United Nations Office at Geneva, “High Contracting Parties and Signatories”, available at: https://www.unog.ch/80256EE600585943/(httpPages)/3CE7CFC0AA4A7548C12571C00039CB0C?OpenDocument.

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, “Fact Sheet: Humanitarian Approach to Disarmament”, available at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/unoda-web/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Humanitarian-Approaches-to-Disarmament-Fact-Sheet-Jul2017.pdf.

Vincze, Viola, “Taming the Untameable: The Role of Military Necessity in Constraining Violence”, ELTE Law Journal, Vol. 2, 2016.

Wall, Andru E. (ed.), Lethal and Ethical Lessons of NATO’s Kosovo Campaign, International Law Studies, Vol. 78, 1998.

Weapons Law Encyclopedia, “Necessity”, available at: http://www.weaponslaw.org/glossary/necessity-definition-under-international-law.

Whittemore, Luke A., “Proportionality Decision Making in Targeting: Heuristics, Cognitive Biases, and the Law”, Harvard National Security Journal, Vol. 7, 2016.

Winfield, Alan F. T. and Marina Jirotka, “The Case for an Ethical Black Box”, in Yang Gao (et.al) (eds.), “Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems”, 18th Annual Conference TAROS 2017, Guidford – United Kingdom, 19-21 July 2017.

Legal Documents

Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare.

Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction.

Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects.

Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, 3 September 1992.

International Court of Justice Reports, Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion of 8 July 1996.

Prosecutor v. Stansilav Galić, Judgement and Opinion, Trial Chamber I, ICTY, IT-98-29-T, 5 December 2003.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 8 June 1977.

Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War, 28 November 2003.

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 17 July 1998.

The Declaration Renouncing the Use, in Time of War, of Explosive Projectiles Under 400 Grammes Weight, 20 November (11 December) 1868.

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 5 March 1970.

United States Department of the Air Force, Legal Review of Weapons and Cyber Capabilities, Air Force Instruction 51-402, 27 July 2011.

United States of America Department of Defense Directive, Autonomy in Weapon Systems, Number 3000.09, 21 November 2012.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Indexation of journals:

                 

Creative Commons License

PJIL is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

  Padjadjaran Journal of International Law © 2017