Bonnie Docherty

Senior Arms Advisor, Arms Division
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Bonnie Docherty, senior arms adviser in the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch, is an expert on arms and the protection of civilians during armed conflicts. Since 2001, she has played an active role, as both lawyer and field researcher, in the campaign against cluster munitions. Docherty was intimately involved in negotiations for the Convention on Cluster Munitions and has promoted strong implementation of the convention since its adoption in 2008.  Her in-depth field investigations of cluster munition use in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Georgia helped galvanize international opposition to the weapons. In 2010, Docherty contributed to Oxford University Press's comprehensive legal commentary on the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Additionally, Docherty has investigated the conduct of war and civilian casualties in Israel, Gaza, Iraq, and Libya, and she has advocated for stronger regulation of incendiary weapons. Most recently, Docherty has begun working on fully autonomous weapons, or "killer robots." Her report "Losing Humanity: The Case against Killer Robots" outlines the threat these weapons would pose to civilians and calls for governments to ban them. The report is the first major publication on the topic by a nongovernmental organization.

Docherty is also a lecturer on law at the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School and director of its Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative. Docherty received her bachelor's as well as her law degree from Harvard University.

Reports Authored