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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Past Events

ESIL Lecture: Disruptive Military Technologies

26 February 2020, 14:00-16:00

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20 September 2021

Following the withdrawal of US troops and the fact that the Taliban gained effective control over most of the country, including Kabul, we revised the classification of the armed conflicts that are taking place in the country.

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Winning Essay Discusses Digital Safe Havens to Protecting Civilians from Military Cyber Operations

17 June 2021

In her winning essay Digital Safe Havens: Sheltering Civilians From Military Cyber Operations, Isabelle Peart brings forward novel suggestions on how to reduce the risk of harm to civilians posed by military cyber operations.

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Women's Perspectives on a Career in International Law

14 December 2021, 15:00-16:15

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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Emerging Technology and the Future of International Humanitarian Law

9 December 2021, 16:30-18:00

This Military Briefing will discuss the role and evolution of IHL in the context of emerging technologies, and provide insights on how armed forces and governments approach these issues.

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Short Course

The Law of Non-International Armed Conflicts

17 March - 8 April 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.

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On the screen, on the screen is Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), briefing the Security Council on the 70th Anniversary of Geneva Conventions. Project

International Humanitarian Law and the United Nations Security Council

Started in January 2020

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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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