Disruptive Military Technologies

Started in February 2020

Context

New (military) technologies are set to revolutionize the ways wars are fought. Significant advances in the fields of cyberspace, artificial intelligence, robotics and space technology are at the forefront of contemporary geopolitical power struggles and are already bringing about major transformative shifts in military and humanitarian affairs. Developments in the area of nanotechnology, human enhancement and genetic engineering are also raising a range of ethical and legal concerns. Undoubtedly, these developments will have far-reaching and not yet fully understood consequences for future humanitarian protection needs and the humanitarian and international legal framework at large.

Objectives

This project aims at:

  • Staying abreast of the various military technology trends
  • Promoting legal and policy debate on new military technologies
  • Furthering the understanding of the convergent effects of different technological trends shaping the digital battlefield of the future.

NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

Cable network photo News

Assessing the Impact of Novel Technologies for Humanitarian Protection in Armed Conflict

10 May 2022

Our new Working Paper provides an overview of the various novel technologies that together form part of the ‘future digital battlefield’ and assesses some of the implications they have for humanitarian protection in armed conflict.

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World Map News

Three Papers Map Contentious Issues Related to the Application of International Law to Military Cyber Operations

22 June 2021

Three new Working Papers – researched by the Geneva Academy in the context of our research on disruptive military technologies – address some of the main issues of contention concerning the application of international law to military cyber operations.

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RESEARCHERS

Picture of Marco Roscini

Marco Roscini

Swiss IHL Chair and Professor of International Law at the University of Westminster

Professor Roscini's research areas include the international law of armed conflict, the use of force in international law, international cyber security law, nuclear non-proliferation law, and the history of international law.

Chiara Redaelli

Research Fellow

Chiara Redaelli's areas of expertise include international humanitarian law, jus ad bellum, and international human rights law.

Publications

Cover of the Publication

The Future Digital Battlefield and Challenges for Humanitarian Protection: A Primer

April 2022

Henning Lahmann

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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cover of the publication

PROTECTING SOCIETIES: ANCHORING A NEW PROTECTION DIMENSION IN INTERNATIONAL LAW IN TIMES OF INCREASED CYBER THREATS

February 2021

Robin Geiss and Henning Lahmann

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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cover of the publication

Protection of Data in Armed Conflict

February 2021

Robin Geiss and Henning Lahmann

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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cover of the publication

Protecting the global information space in times of armed conflict

February 2021

Robin Geiß and Henning Lahmann

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Past Events

Cyber Operations, Armed Conflicts and International Law

23 June 2022, 17:30-18:30

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ESIL Lecture: Disruptive Military Technologies

26 February 2020, 14:00-16:00

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MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Destuction in eastern Ukraine News

Referendums on Joining Russia in Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson: What Impact on Conflicts Classification?

10 October 2022

Our Research Fellow Dr Chiara Redaelli tells us whether these referendums will affect our RULAC classification of the armed conflicts that are currently taking place in Ukraine.

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A man passes by a destroyed tank on the main street of Edaga Hamus, in the Tigray region, in Ethiopia, on June 5, 2021 News

RULAC Classifies a Second Non-International Armed Conflict in Ethiopia

16 August 2022

In addition to the ongoing non-international armed conflict (NIAC) that opposes Ethiopia to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, our RULAC online portal just classified a parallel NIAC between Ethiopia and the Oromo Liberation Army.

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A Blackwater Security Company MD-530F helicopter aids in securing the site of a car bomb explosion in Baghdad, Iraq, on December 4, 2004, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Event

Private Military Companies and the Future of Conflict

7 December 2022, 14:00-15:30

This panel discussion – co-organized with ICoCA – will consider the growing importance of PMCs and the role ICoCA might play in promoting human rights observance and strengthening accountability of these actors in armed conflicts.

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A wide view of the UN Security Council Short Course

Sanctions in Public International Law

11 January - 21 February 2023

This online short course provides an introduction to the regime of sanctions under international law and their effectiveness in addressing contemporary forms of conflict. It addresses the questions related to state responsibility, the pacific settlement of international disputes and the role of the International Court of Justice.

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Somalia, explosion of a bomb in the Mogadishu's market place. Short Course

The Classification of Armed Conflicts

19 January - 14 February 2023

This online short course provides an in-depth study of an emblematic example of the complexity of international humanitarian law and the challenges it raises: the classification of armed conflicts.

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A session of the UN Human Rights Committtee at Palais Wilson Project

Implementing International Humanitarian Law Through Human Rights Mechanisms

Completed in April 2019

This project examined how IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the UN Charter, as well as from universal and regional treaties.

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A session of the UN Human Rights Council Project

IHL Expert Pool

Started in January 2022

The IHL-EP works to strengthen the capacity of human rights mechanisms to incorporate IHL into their work in an efficacious and comprehensive manner. By so doing, it aims to address the normative and practical challenges that human rights bodies encounter when dealing with cases in which IHL applies.

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Cover page of the study Publication

From Words to Deeds A Study of Armed Non-State Actors’ Practice and Interpretation of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Norms: Research and Policy Conclusions

published on September 2022

Annyssa Bellal, Pascal Bongard, Ezequiel Heffes

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