Event information

23 March 2022, 18:15-19:45

Autonomous Weapons Impact on International Governance

Military Briefings

A remotely piloted MQ-9 Reaper operated by the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing flies a routine training mission over Central New York. A remotely piloted MQ-9 Reaper operated by the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing flies a routine training mission over Central New York.

After having introduced and subdivided autonomous weapons into two categories: ‘High end’ and ‘Over the Counter’, this Military Briefing with Professor Chris Jenks will discuss how these categories may impact the following three different aspects of international governance:

  • Jus ad Bellum, the international law governing the resort to force
  • Jus in Bello, the international law regulating the conduct of hostilities
  • The arms/export control regime.

Speaker

Chris Jenks is a Professor of Law at the SMU Dedman School of Law, in Dallas, Texas, where he teaches international humanitarian law, criminal law and evidence. His research considers the impact of emerging technology on accountability norms across the armed conflict spectrum. He is currently on leave from SMU on a fellowship at the Center for Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence in Washington DC. Prior to joining academia, Chris Jenks served for more than 20 years in the US military, as an infantry officer and a judge advocate, serving in Kuwait, Bosnia, Korea, and Iraq. He later became the chief of the international law branch for the US Army in the Pentagon.

In 2015 he received a Fulbright Scholars grant and researched autonomous weapons as part of an interdisciplinary group at Melbourne Law School in Australia. He has presented at a United Nations (UN) Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons meeting on autonomous weapons and twice served as a member of the United States delegation to subsequent UN meetings. He has testified on autonomous weapons before the US Congres Helsinki Commission and worked with both the US Defense Innovation Board and the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. He has authored book chapters and articles on autonomous weapons, including a definition of ‘drones’ and ‘autonomous weapons’ for the Brill Companion to International Humanitarian Law.

About the Military Briefings

Military Briefings are a unique series of events relating to military institutions and the law. They aim to improve our students’ knowledge of military actors and operations and build bridges between the military and civilian worlds.

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