Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems: Legal and Ethical Perspectives

Felicity C. Salina(1*)

(*) Corresponding Author


Much of the focus in reshaping the law of armed conflict is fixated on the vision of humanizing war, thus the term “humanitarian”. But when self-governing, soulless, and machines are introduced into the scheme, does it project betrayal towards this objective? This article attempts to provide insight in answering the question through three sections. First, we will venture into the current and expected future progress of utilizing autonomous weapons systems in armed conflicts. Second, it will thoroughly observe the relevance of substituting human beings with robots in the battlefield with the cardinal concept of “just war” from the viewpoint of both jus ad bellum and jus in bello. This is mainly dedicated to overview and reconcile the pessimistic stance upon the issue against the vulnerable ethics in combat. Third, the article discusses the potential candidates who should be prepared to bear the legal cost of using insentient objects astride the frontier of warfare.


autonomous weapons, robots, international humanitarian law, jus ad bellum, jus in bello, armed conflict, ethics

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