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

Via a new lecture series on disruptive military technologies, 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.

RESEARCHERS

Portrait of Robin Geiss

Robin Geiß

Former Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law at the Geneva Academy and Director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)

Robin Geiß has taught, researched and published on a variety of topics related to international humanitarian law, human rights law and the legal and ethical implications of new technologies, and is recognized as a leading expert in these fields.

Chiara Redaelli

Research Fellow

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

Portrait of Henning Lahmann

Henning Lahmann

Associate Research Fellow

Henning Lahmann participates in the research at the Geneva Academy on disruptive military technologies.

Publications

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; The International Land Coalition

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Past Events

ESIL Lecture: Disruptive Military Technologies

26 February 2020, 14:00-16:00

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LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights: What our Alumni Say

7 December 2021

Annabel Bassil currently works as a Junior Legal Advisor at Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre. In this interview, she tells about the programme and what it brought to her career.

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The Involvement of Mercenaries and Private Military Security Companies in Armed Conflicts: What does IHL Say?

9 November 2021

Several armed conflicts classified in our RULAC online portal see the participation of mercenaries or private military security companies alongside states’ armed forces. Dr Chiara Redaelli, in charge of RULAC and an expert in IHL, answers our questions regarding what IHL says about this phenomenon.

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Women's Perspectives on a Career in International Law

7 February 2022, 12:30-14:00

In this online event co-organized with the ATLAS Network, prominent women in international law will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.

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The Interplay between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

11 February - 4 March 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.

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The Implementation of International Humanitarian Law

8 February - 11 March 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, will cover the ‘nuts and bolts’ of implementation, including national legislation, dissemination and training, and discuss the mechanisms such as the International Fact-Finding Commission, as set out in the treaties.

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Disruptive Military Technologies

Started in February 2020

Via a new lecture series on disruptive military technologies, this project aims at staying abreast of the various military technology trends; promoting legal and policy debate on new military technologies; and furthering the understanding of the convergent effects of different technological trends shaping the digital battlefield of the future.

Read more

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Digitalization of Conflict Joint Initiative: Humanitarian Impact and Legal Protection

Started in September 2020

This project will explore humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts and the extent to which these needs are addressed by international law, especially international humanitarian law.

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Cover of the publication Publication

The UN Security Council and Common Article 1: Understanding the Role of Peacekeeping Operations in Ensuring Respect for IHL

published on October 2021

Émilie Max

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