Regulierung autonomer Waffensysteme

Wie „Meaningful Human Control" im humanitären Völkerrecht verankert werden kann - PRIF SPOTLIGHT (engl.) von Elvira Rosert

A Chinese military drone, remotely piloted. How can human control for all weapons be preserved? (Photo: Times Asi, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

We are, once again, witnes­­sing a techno­­logical rev­­olu­tion in war­fare: the progres­­sing auto­­nomy in weapons systems. Auto­­nomy refers to capa­­bilities of weapons to operate without human gui­­dance, pertaining to less contro­­versial functions such as navi­­gation and recon­­nais­­sance – but also to the alarming prospect of robots making the killing decision. The latter in parti­­cular has given rise to funda­mental ethical and legal concerns: To what extent is it morally accept­able to use robots in military operations? Are auto­­nomous weapons capable of com­pliance with Inter­­national Humani­tarian Law? Who can be held account­able for their actions and how?

Responding to these concerns, the new PRIF SPOTLIGHT "How to Regulate Auto­nomous Weapons. Steps to Codify Meaning­­ful Humani­­tarian Control as a Principle of Inter­­national Humani­tarian Law" by Elvira Rosert echoes the calls for a ban on killer robots, and proposes to adopt a new principle, which would turn meaning­­ful human control of lethal weapons into an obli­gation under Inter­­national Humani­­tarian Law.

Prof. Dr. Elvira Rosert is Junior Professor in Political Science, particularly Inter­­national Rela­tions, at the Universität Hamburg and at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH). Before joining IFSH, she had been a long-term Research Associate at PRIF, first in the Research Depar­t­ment “Arms Control and Dis­­arma­­ment”, and later in the Research Groups “Conflict and Normative Change” as well as “Public Inter­national Law”.