Background on Lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS)
Potentially LAWS could identify and attack a target without human intervention. This issue was first brought to the international community’s attention by Human Rights Watch in its report titled “Losing Humanity: The Case Against Killer Robots”.
At the 2013 CCW Meeting of States Parties, the Chairperson, Ambassador Jean-Hugues Simon-Michel of France, negotiated the first mandate within the CCW on LAWS. Meetings of Experts were held in 2014 and 2015 and a third meeting will take place this year in which Ambassador Michael Biontino of Germany will serve as Chairperson.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots
The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots as part of its advocacy on LAWS produced this short film explaining the background to LAWS and work being undertaken within the United Nations and civil society. More recently, the Campaign has produced this film on their work during the 2015 Meeting of Experts on LAWS.
Background documents on lethal autonomous weapons
American Society of International Law - Panel on Autonomous Weaponry and Armed Conflict
ARKIN, Ronald - Lethal Autonomous Systems and the Plight of the Non-combatant
ASARO, Peter - On banning autonomous weapon systems: human rights, automation, and the dehumanization of lethal decision-making
ANDERSON, Kenneth and WAXMAN, Matthew - Law and Ethics for Autonomous Weapons Systems: Why a Ban Won't Work and How the Laws of War Can
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists - Autonomous weapons, civilian safety, and regulation versus prohibition
HEYNS, Christof - Report on Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (focusing on lethal autonomous weapons systems)
International Committee of the Red Cross - Report of the ICRC meeting on autonomous weapon systems, 26 - 28 March 2014
International Institute of Humanitarian Law - International Humanitarian Law and New Weapon Technologies
MARCHANT, Gary; ALLENBY, Braden; ARKIN, Ronald; BARRETT, Edward; BORENSTEIN, Jason; GAUDET, Lyn; KITTERIE, Orde; LIN, Patrick; LUCAS, George; O'MEARA, Richard; and SILBERMAN, Jared - International Governance of Autonomous Military Robots (from The Colombia, Science and Technology Law Review)
MARSH, Nicholas (2014) Defining the Scope of Autonomy, PRIO Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: PRIO.
MELZER, Nils - Human Rights Implications of the Usage of Drones and Unmanned Robots in Warfare - Legal Study and Policy Advice. Brussels: European Union Parliament, 2013
LIN, Patrick; BEKEY, George; and ABNEY, Keith - Autonomous Military Robotics: Risk, Ethics, and Design
SHARKEY, Noel - The evitability of autonomous robots warfare
SHARKEY, Noel - Towards a principle for the human supervisory control of robot weapons
SHARKEY, Noel - Weapons of Indiscriminate Lethality
SCHMITT, Michael - Autonomous Weapon Systems and International Humanitarian Law: A Reply to the Critics
World Economic Forum, 2016 - What if robots go to war?
UNIDIR - Framing Discussions on the Weaponization of Increasingly Autonomous Technologies