Event information

1 March 2017, 17:30-19:30


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Autonomous Weapon Systems: Ban or Regulate?


Cover page of the book Autonomous Weapons: Law, Ethics, Policy Cover page of the book Autonomous Weapons: Law, Ethics, Policy

Over the last four years, an intense and polemical debate has unfolded about the legality and morality of autonomous weapon systems (AWS), reaching the agenda of the States Parties to Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.  

Should such weapons be banned at the outset or is it possible to manage and regulate their development to ensure compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law? How to do so? Who bears responsibility for their use?

This event, co-organized with the Département de droit international public et organisation internationale of the University of Geneva Law Faculty, will discuss these questions in light of a new edited collection published by Cambridge University Press in 2016 Autonomous Weapons Systems: Law, Ethics, Policy. The volume combines contributions from roboticists, legal scholars, philosophers and sociologists of science in order to recast the debate in a manner that clarifies key areas and articulates questions for future research. Panelists will address some of the arguments raised in this book.


Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Professor of Law, University of Geneva


Nehal Bhuta, Professor of Public International Law and the European University Institute, Co-Editor of Autonomous Weapons: Law, Ethics, Policy

Marco Sassoli, Professor of International Law at the University of Geneva and at the Geneva Academy

Kerstin Vignard, Deputy to the Director and Chief of Operations, UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)



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