Candidate: Renato Wolf

Thesis title: Fulfilling legal obligations when using Autonomous Weapon Systems

Date and time: 4 February 12pm



The review of weapons under Article 36 of the Additional Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions aims to ensure that weapons a state intends to use are, in principle, lawful. In turn, autonomous weapons with the ability to select the targets of an attack without direct human supervision, pose a number of new challenges that are novel to established weapons review practices. For instance, IHL requires that ‘those who plan or decide upon an attack’ do everything feasible to ensure that the object to be attacked is indeed a lawful target. When an Autonomous Weapon System, which itself does not have legal obligations, selects its own targets, how can ‘those who plan or decide’ fulfil their legal obligation to verify the lawful nature of the target?