Alternative Processes for Negotiating a Killer Robots Treaty
The 40-page report, “An Agenda for Action: Alternative Processes for Negotiating a Killer Robots Treaty,” is copublished by Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic. It proposes that countries initiate a treaty-making process based on past humanitarian disarmament models, such as for the treaty banning cluster munitions.
Elements of and Models for a Treaty on Killer Robots
The 25-page report, “New Weapons, Proven Precedent: Elements of and Models for a Treaty on Killer Robots,” outlines key elements for a future treaty to maintain meaningful human control over the use of force and prohibit weapons systems that operate without such control. It should consist of both positive obligations and prohibitions as well as elaborate on the components of “meaningful human control.”
Country Positions on Banning Fully Autonomous Weapons and Retaining Human Control
The 55-page report, “Stopping Killer Robots: Country Positions on Banning Fully Autonomous Weapons and Retaining Human Control,” reviews the policies of the 97 countries that have publicly elaborated their views on killer robots since 2013. The vast majority regard human control and decision-making as critical to the acceptability and legality of weapons systems. Most of these countries have expressed their desire for a new treaty to retain human control over the use of force, including 30 that explicitly seek to ban fully autonomous weapons.
This report finds that fully autonomous weapons would violate what is known as the Martens Clause. This long-standing provision of international humanitarian law requires emerging technologies to be judged by the “principles of humanity” and the “dictates of public conscience” when they are not already covered by other treaty provisions.
This 38-page report details significant hurdles to assigning personal accountability for the actions of fully autonomous weapons under both criminal and civil law. It also elaborates on the consequences of failing to assign legal responsibility. The report is jointly published by Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic.
The 26-page report is the first report to assess in detail the risks posed by these weapons during law enforcement operations, expanding the debate beyond the battlefield. Human Rights Watch found that fully autonomous weapons would threaten rights and principles under international law as fundamental as the right to life, the right to a remedy, and the principle of dignity.
This 50-page report outlines concerns about these fully autonomous weapons, which would inherently lack human qualities that provide legal and non-legal checks on the killing of civilians. In addition, the obstacles to holding anyone accountable for harm caused by the weapons would weaken the law’s power to deter future violations.